A girl and her sharpie – aka how I brought Cole & Son wallpaper into my budget :)

Hi again! ¬†See, I told you I’d be back ūüôā

So, when we last met, I introduced you to my Larry, my DIY fail.  I also mentioned that I had already redone the accent wall in the craft studio, so today is a reveal post/mini-tutorial.  If you guys want something more in-depth, let me know and I will elaborate with a full-blown tutorial for you.

Now, I don’t know about y’all, but I have a rather long-standing tradition of falling in love with design elements that are WAAAAAYYYY out of my budget. ¬†As much as I love those design elements, I also kinda love a roof over my head, food on my table, and, um, my marriage. ¬†All this means that I can’t blow my budget no matter how much I love a given table, rug, lamp, etc. ¬†But ask anyone who knows me, and they will probably tell you I am stubborn¬†determined (and resourceful). ¬†Luckily, I am also not afraid to take risks with paint. ¬†Here’s why:

cole and sons


Oh, Cole & Son, your wallpaper is so pretty, so my style, so…FRIGGIN’ SPENDY! ¬†I first saw this wallpaper on Anthropologie (a website I only browse when my wallet is safely in the other room where I will be too lazy to fetch it), but at almost $200.00 a roll, it just wasn’t going to happen. ¬†So, I decided to DIY it. ¬†After looking on the internet, I found a bunch of birch tree stencils, but nixed these immediately since they didn’t really nail the original wallpaper. Plus, I thought it might hurt Larry’s feelings if I tossed him aside, only to do another stencil. ¬†Y’all know I couldn’t risk that, haha. ¬†Further searching led me to this post on Apartment Therapy, though, and I knew instantly that I was close to a solution.

marker tree


Finally, looking over my Pinterest boards, I found this pin of Vintage Revival’s gold sharpie wallpaper.

DIY Sharpie Wallpaper Tutorial @ Vintage Revivals[7]


Cue the lightbulb moment:  gold sharpie + hand drawn trees = the perfect solution to my craving for Cole & Son wallpaper.

And here it is!! ¬†Pardon the less than ideal nighttime photos and the “storage unit chic” look this room is still rocking – it’s coming along, but it’s not done yet.


Here’s a quick description of how I did it:

First, I pulled up a picture of the original wallpaper on my tablet so I could refer to it as I went. ¬†This was super helpful in keeping the look uniform and preventing me from getting distracted and just doodling on my walls (not that that was EVER a concern…at all).

Next, I sketched out the tree and branch outlines very roughly in white chalk.  I also added in some knotholes.  I used the standard schoolhouse stuff that you can get at the dollar store and was perfect Рnot only did it show up really clearly on the navy walls, but it also came right off the with a damp sponge when I was done.

I then took the thinner of my two sharpie pens (I used both the medium and fine tip oil-based paint sharpies in the gold color), and drew roughly horizontal lines across the trunk of all my trees to fill them in. ¬†I spaced these about 1/3″ apart on the main trees in the foreground, and wider on the skinny trees in the background.

Next, I took the heavier point sharpie (medium) and filled in between the lines with a combination of lines and dashes.  I tried to keep the pattern fairly regular between adjacent lines, but vary it overall so that nothing looked TOO uniform.

Finally, I used the fine point sharpie to add extra dashes on the one side of the tree trunks, to make them look more shaded and dimensional. ¬†I also added some fine branches and leaves at this point, and added the Doctor’s and my initials in one of the knotholes for a personal touch.

All in all, I think I went through about 4 fine tip sharpies, and 3 medium tips. ¬†I got all of them at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and used 40% off coupons, so all in all I spent around $15.00 for the whole wall, not including the navy paint. ¬†If you add that in it’s probably more like $30.00. ¬†Regardless, my DIY job was MUCH more in my budget that the $200.00 original. As an added bonus, I got to do it in my chosen color combo, and I kept the Doctor happy ūüôā

So there you have it Рthe basic breakdown of what I did to create my own personal golden forest.  Feel free to comment with any questions you might have, and if enough people ask, I will do a full tutorial with pictures of each step and such.

Till next time,


Meet Larry, a DIY fail

Hey there! ¬†Remember me, the girl who hasn’t posted in, oh, forever? ¬†Sorry about that, y’all. ¬†Yes, life had been crazy. ¬†No, that’s not really a good excuse. ¬†I really am sorry for all three of you who have missed me (ha).

Moving on,¬†let’s talk walls. The craft studio walls, specifically. Apparently, I’m on an accent wall kick at the moment (see here), so I couldn’t possibly just paint the craft room walls a single color and leave it (oh, the horror of making my life simple, right?) ¬†No, I knew – I just KNEW – I wanted the far wall of the craft room to be an accent wall. ¬†So, I decided to paint it navy. ¬†This of course meant taping off trim, since such a dark color shows every friggin’ wavy line. ¬†Have I mentioned how much I LOATHE taping? ¬†If not, it’s alot – as in “I’d rather be cleaning my toilet – with a toothbrush” alot. ¬†Yeah.

Anyway, I painted the wall, and it looked like this:

please pardon the mess...just keepin' it real people
please pardon the mess…just keepin’ it real people

Oooohhh….AAAhhhh….shiny, pristine, gorgeous navy wall – Bra-VO, past Sarah. ¬†We’re done right?

Darn that past Sarah, she’s never content. ¬†Apparently I drank the crazy Kool-aid that day, because I decided it needed more. ¬†I wanted something with movement, something quirky, something modern, something GOLD, dangit! ¬†So I turned where we all turn for inspiration, the internet. ¬†That’s where I found this:

"Origami Crane" by DIYstencils
“Origami Crane” by DIYstencils


It was quirky, it had movement, it was modern, it (could be) ¬†gold, and…it was cranes. ¬†Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with cranes, I just have no real desire to put them all over my walls. ¬†So I decided to design my own stencil (no problem, past Sarah said), cut out said stencil with my Silhouette Cameo (easy peasy, she said), and stencil it – perfectly aligned – on my very old, very cattywampus walls (I am beginning to lose faith in past Sarah’s judgment at this point). ¬†Did I mention that there’s a window on this wall? ¬†And that it isn’t completely level? ¬†Yeah – sometimes I amaze myself with how brilliant I am. ¬†Ugh.

Here’s the thing, though. ¬†Once I get an idea in my head, I’m kinda like a dog with a bone. ¬†I just can’t let it go. ¬†So I decided to try. ¬†Now, I have a particular love of elephants, so I decided to sub that in for the crane. ¬†I found an origami line drawing of an elephant online, and used Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to turn it into something my Silhouette could cut. ¬†Here is the finished stencil (I used quilter’s plastic from Jo-Ann fabrics to cut it from). ¬†Y’all, at this point I was SO EXCITED. ¬†I couldn’t wait to try it on the wall. ¬†Like this. ¬†Ta-da!!!

DCF 1.0

And a close-up, because I’m nice that way…

elephants on parade!
elephants on parade!

It was right about this moment that I realized four important things:

1) it was going to take a LOT of math to make everything line up visually given the crooked walls and window – I am NOT a math person.
2) almost every remaining elephant on the wall was somehow going to be cut off by either the walls, ceiling, floor, or window frame.
3) My stencil didn’t want to bend around corners.
4) I didn’t want to cry.

So I decided to admit defeat, and go with something I can freehand (which is actually already done, so look for another post sometime around Tuesday – really, I promise).

So why am I even posting this? ¬†Why put my failure out on the internet for all to see? ¬†Well, ¬†to demonstrate¬†that we all make mistakes, and sometimes DIY fails happen. ¬†But you know what? ¬†That’s okay because we learn from it. ¬†Plus, now I have a super cute elephant stencil that I already have great plans for. ¬†I think I’ll name him “Larry.”

Till next time,


Mood boards make me happy (a craft studio update)

Hey Y’all! ¬†Hope your weekend was great – mine was wonderfully family-filled and I am sad to see it go.

I thought I’d start the week off by sharing my mood board for the craft studio. ¬†After a floor plan, this is my next major step in planning out a space. ¬†It may seem a little silly, or even tedious, but it is a really easy way to make sure that your colors and key pieces are heading in the direction you want. ¬†Sometimes I will shoot pictures of the walls and do a full Photoshop rendering (I did with the master bedroom – to be featured at a later date), but that is not always necessary. ¬†Especially if the room you are doing happens to be a disaster zone and shooting pictures of blank walls is pretty much a pipe dream.

I think of mood boards as an ultra-focused pinterest board – a place where you put all your ideas together so you can look at them as a whole and make sure they all work together. ¬†In fact, if you don’t want to muck around with photoshop, you can do just that – make a pinterest board just for your room, and pin away! ¬†The only catch is that it helps to be very selective in your pins if you take this approach. ¬†For example, if you were doing a bedroom, only pin one bed. ¬†Make sure that bed is one you a) love and b) can actually find (or at least get close) and put in the space. ¬†Pinning 8 beds doesn’t really help – it is better to pin one bed, one dresser, one wall color, etc. so you can see the room at a glance as close to its final form as possible.

That being said, I generally stick to Photoshop, because it is familiar to me and because I can make the background my wall color and/or rug.  Doing this really helps me make sure every accessory and piece of furniture works with those two anchoring factors, which helps assure me that the final product will be harmonious.

For the craft studio, I decided to go with a neutral light gray-blue on the walls. ¬†Specifically, Valspar’s “Seashore Fog.” ¬†I originally planned to paint the walls a deep navy, but have since moved that idea to the master bedroom. ¬†Frankly, this makes more sense since the master is ginormous and the craft studio is the size of a shoebox. ¬†Additionally, I am a big enough girl to admit that I chickened out – what can I say, I was nervous about defying the old rule of small space = light walls. ¬†Sometimes (usually) taking a risk is worth it, but I think the light walls will really make the room feel bigger, and I will just use the navy in smaller doses. ¬†I am still toying with doing a navy accent wall or ceiling…you’ll just have to wait for the reveal to see what I choose!

I also chose to go neutral for the rug in the studio – gray and ivory. ¬†One, because it was on sale (and y’all know the Doctor and I love saving money), and two, because this way I can change the accent colors in the room without being bound by the flooring color. ¬†I tend to get bored with things after a year or so, so rather than fight that I try to make sure the foundation (ie, bigger or more expensive pieces) of the room are something I know will work with a variety of colors and design styles. ¬†The Doctor doesn’t mind me changing up the pillows or picture frames in a space every once in awhile, but if I tried to replace all the rugs and furniture in our house on an annual basis he might not be so happy!

Other things to consider placing on the board are major pieces of furniture (the dresser and the desk in this case), as well as a few accents to represent the entirety of you planned color scheme. ¬†Note that I said “a few” – it is super rare that I will put everything that is ultimately going in the room on the mood board. ¬†It is just too visually confusing! ¬†Imagine if your favorite restaurant put all the ingredients and recipes under every item on the menu – it would be too much to slog through. ¬†In my experience, the mood board works best as a tool if you limit it to major, key pieces of information. ¬†Of course, you don’t have to be as narrow-minded¬†focused as me – ¬†anything that evokes the feel you are going for is a candidate to be added. ¬†I know some bloggers who add song lyrics or fashion spreads to their home decor mood boards – it’s all up to you and what will help you envision the space. ¬†I am pretty literal and focused when it comes to mine, so I tend to stick to the actual things going in the room.

In this space I knew I wanted navy and gray with gold elements and¬†one additional color for “pop.” ¬†I considered yellow, green, aqua, and red, but ultimately settled on pink. ¬†I love the preppy, feminine feel that navy, gold, and pink create when used together, and the reality is the Doctor would be less than thrilled if I tried to put pink as a major player in the main parts of the house. ¬†Since this is my office, and the spousal veto exception applies, I decided to dive headfirst into preppy, girly, and glam. ¬†Of course, I will be sure to throw in some warm wood as well to keep it in balance with the rest of the house, and I will try to avoid glitter overload.

So here it is…

mood board

…my mood board for the craft studio – feel free to let me know what you think by commenting below!



Till next time,



A public service announcement

So the other night I was talking about this little blog with my husband, and he indicated that he would prefer to be known as “the doctor” rather than the somewhat less impressive “mister.” ¬†I told him I was happy to do so provided he would let me design an emoji/avatar featuring him peeking out from behind the Tardis that I can use on the blog. #yesiamserious #itshallbedone ¬†(Also, for all those who know what I am talking about, bonus points for you!)

So this is just a little heads up to tell y’all that the doctor and the mister are indeed one and the same amazing man I married ūüôā

Craft Studio floor plan

One of the very first things I do when I decide to tackle a room redo is a floor plan. ¬†It’s not nearly as fun as, say, shopping for accessories, but it is a foundation for the whole room and thus a necessary evil. ¬†Now this isn’t always a formal thing – sometimes I can just stand in a room and mentally place the furniture (that was what I did with my living room and it worked out fine). ¬†Some spaces need a more in-depth approach though, especially if they are overly large (master bedroom) or small (craft studio). ¬†This room in particular presented a challenge because:

1) there is an awkward jut out for the closet that makes the entrance feel cramped even with nothing in the room
2) there are two huge windows (yay!) on two very small walls (boo!) that I really wanted to leave as unblocked as possible.
3) I have alot of craft/art stuff, so I need to squeeze lots of storage and work space into a very small room.

Now when I say small, I am not kidding – the room is nine feet long and ranges from ten feet at its widest point to just under seven at its narrowest. ¬†It’s smaller than my walk-in closet! ¬†Couple that with the door and window placement, and it’s a challenge to say the least.

My first step was to sketch everything out to scale on my computer – there are a bunch of ways to do this online, but I used my old standby, Adobe Illustrator. ¬†I just happen to be really comfortable with that particular software (yay for graphic design backgrounds), but it doesn’t matter what method you use. ¬†Even pen and paper is fine (that’s what I used to take down the measurements) – the important part is to get it into a form you can play with. Here is my illustrator plan, sans furniture:

floorplan base

Next up was to create furniture blocks to represent any large items (furniture, shelves, rugs, etc. ) that are going in the space. ¬†Remember that you don’t have to get the overhead silhouette perfect. ¬†Plain old squares are fine, as long as the square represents the maximum dimensions of the piece. ¬†In my case this was especially important since I was using furniture that I already had (read more about my $100 budget here), so I couldn’t feasibly buy smaller scale furniture specifically for the room.¬†If you are using paper, just cut your furniture blocks out of another piece of paper so you can literally move them around. ¬†If you are going the digital route, just create a new layer for your furniture. In the craft studio,¬†I had two desk options, a chair, and a shelf unit that I knew were staying.

After that, it’s all about moving things around and filling in the holes with new pieces if necessary. ¬†Have fun and play around with placements you might otherwise not do. ¬†Because it’s digital (or paper), there is no heavy lifting involved, so it makes sense to figure out the best layout, even if you have to move things around a bunch of times.

Here are some of the plans I came up with – the pieces I own are in blue, and the new additions are in yellow. ¬†You will see I also kept a running total to the bottom of what I would need to buy so I could see at a glance where each plan would put me in my budget. ¬†I also added some notes at the bottom for my reference so I could remember what I was thinking – my ‘lil pea brain only has so much room!

option 1
option 2
option 3
option 4

After looking them over, hemming and hawing, and sleeping on it, I am down to options 2 or 3.  As much as I love the idea of having one long, glorious expanse of counterspace at my disposal (option 4), it would involve alot more buying, which would eat into my budget for cute accessories (for shame!).  Plus, options 2 and three give me both room to leave an easel out and a standing desk for my computer Рsomething I have been wanting to do for awhile to get away from being so sedentary.

Stay tuned for a post on the colors/mood board for the craft studio later this week, as well as a closer look at the light fixture I talked about here.

Till next time,


A corner to dream…

Have I mentioned that I am lucky? ¬†Like – WHOA kinda lucky y’all. ¬†Despite all the tough stuff that life throws my way, I have a roof over my head, a family that loves me, an AMAZING mister – it’s a pretty sweet deal.

And under that roof is a tiny little room (emphasis on tiny) that is all mine – my very own corner to dream in. ¬†When we moved into the house, the mister and I decided that we would each get a room of our own – one that we could use however we wanted, and decorate to our own tastes – no spousal vetoes allowed. ¬†Unsurprisingly, the mister converted his into a gym (soon to be decorated as a shrine¬†tribute to his favorite college sports team). ¬†I decided to make mine a craft room/art studio. ¬†So I loaded all my crafty stuff in there, and there it sat – for a YEAR. ¬†To be honest, I just didn’t feel inspired in the space. ¬†It just felt small…and cramped…and, well, boring.

*As a sidenote, I also don’t feel inspired in the mister’s room, but hey, it’s a GYM, so that’s to be expected, lol.

So, I decided to change that. ¬†I am overhauling that space, and it is gonna be beautiful, inspiring, and girly-as-all-get-out. ¬†Think pink…and gold…and glitter. ¬†It should go without saying that I am totally rocking that “no spousal vetoes” thing. There is, however, a catch. ¬†Money. ¬†#guessishouldnixtheliveinunicorn #no24ktgolddeskforme

My budget for this entire room is – are you ready – $100 bucks. ¬†For everything. ¬†New furniture, paint, accessories – it’s all fine as long as the total doesn’t top the century mark. ¬†Gulp.

So the theme of this room will be re-purpose, re-use, re-cycle, and re-think. ¬†Which is fine by me, because it’s a challenge – and I love me a good challenge. ¬†Plus, it’s sure to yield a bunch of DIY projects for you guys. ¬†Win-win, right?

I have been working on floor plans, as well as a mood board and a DIY light fixture which I am pretty darn excited about. ¬†I can’t wait to share (so here’s a sneak peek of said light fixture in-progress because I am a child and have zero willpower, lol)

DCF 1.0

Till next time,


P.S. – That’s the thoroughly boring (and messy!) craft room in the background – you can see the need for an intervention, lol!

Entryway Damask Wall: A Tutorial

As promised, here is a closer look at the focal wall in the entryway. ¬†I knew I wanted something unique – something to add energy as soon as you walked in the door. ¬†The Mister suggested painting it crimson. Frankly, I wasn’t at all¬†surprised by his suggestion, since crimson is his favorite color. ¬†If he had it his way, our whole house would be decorated in crimson, gray, and white as an homage to our favorite college football team, but I digress.

Mister’s other suggestion was to do something with a damask print, since the rug in our dining room is a tone-on-tone gray damask, and it would help the spaces flow nicely without being too matchy. ¬†Again, he suggested CRIMSON damask, but I told him that in the interest of keeping our house from looking like a bordello, we might want to try a more neutral color.

Ultimately, we decided to go with Martha Stewart’s “Seal” – the color we had used above the board and batten in the dining room. ¬†It’s a lovely smokey gray with quite a brown cast. ¬†It’s very warm and welcoming and it pairs nicely with the ever-present builder beige the previous owner painted in EVERY room of the house (It’s like the orthopedic shoe of paint colors – incredibly practical, and incredibly boring). ¬†“Seal” has been discontinued, but in my experience the paint formulas are still in the Home Depot computers, so you can likely have it mixed up in Glidden paint.

My next step was to find a damask print that was fairly simple, since I would be free-handing it onto the wall (I totally cheated on this – more on that in a moment). ¬†Onward, to google images! ¬†Now, I’m going to be totally honest here – I can be a bit, um, particular when it comes to symmetry and balance. ¬†While I don’t mind asymmetry, it has to be perfectly counterweighted or it drives me nuts. ¬†So, I decided to mock the entryway up in photoshop with the different damasks so I could see which one I liked best. ¬†This was the victor:

grey damask
oooh….ahhhh…my virtual house is so clean!

I printed off ¬†the damask pattern on my laser printer, and I was ready to go. ¬†But Sarah, you may ask, how in the world was printing off the pattern on a tiny piece of paper going to help you get it blown up and on the wall? ¬†Well, here’s the cheating part I mentioned earlier – I used an opaque projector. ¬†We’ve all seen the old-school projectors our teachers used in grade school (and if you haven’t don’t tell me because you’ll just make me feel old, lol). ¬†But those are clunky and hard to find, and they require a transparancy. ¬†An opaque projector can project anything onto a surface¬†– even 3D objects. ¬†This is the one I used, which I snagged with a 40% off coupon at Michael’s.

available here
available here

I know, it’s spendy, but I can see myself using it for a bunch of projects, so I deemed it an investment piece and moved along ūüėČ

First hurdle – lighting. ¬†Because the projector uses a light to throw the image on the wall, it is best if the room is actually pretty dark to start with – it makes the contrast on the projection easier to see, especially if you are pushing the magnification limits like I was. ¬†I happen to have several very large windows that all shine on the entry, and there was so much ambient light that I couldn’t see squat. ¬†The practical solution would have been to wait until it was dark outside rather than doing this at ten in the morning, but I am impatient. ¬†So instead I drew all the drapes shut, and covered the remaining windows with blankets and cardboard, like so:

microfleece – the next trend in window treatments

I am sure my neighbors thought I was crazy – even I was reminded of the Law and Order episode where the killer covered his windows in foil to keep out alien mind-controlling beams. ¬†Then again, my neighbors probably already think I am crazy, so no harm, no foul – sometimes you just have to let your crazy hang out, y’all.

Second hurdle – my damask needed to be¬†HUGE. ¬†We have typical 8 foot ceilings, and I wanted the damask to be cropped off at the edges, so it needed to be about 9.5 feet tall. ¬†Because my damask was so large, I had to project it in pieces – the magnification power wasn’t high enough to do it all in one go. ¬†I’m not going to lie, getting it all to match up wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially since I was¬†McGuyver-ing¬†balancing it on an assortment of boxes I had around the house to get it to the right height. ¬†It was really difficult to make sure everything lined up and was level. ¬†And when I say really difficult, I mean bring-chocolate-and-wine frustrating…

…poor Mister – he never knew what hit him when he walked in and observed that my painstakingly lined-up damask¬†looked “a little crooked.” ¬†The conversation went something like this:

Me: What do you think? ¬†I have been working on it all day and I’m finally making some headway!
Mister: Looks great! ¬†You know it’s a little off, right?
Me: *eyes begin to redden* What do you mean, “a little off?”
Mister: Well, you know, like a little cattywampus…it goes uphill a little.
Me: *insert freak out moment of epic meltdown proportions here*

In the end, after I put on my big-girl pants and stopped throwing a hissy-fit (just keeping it real, folks), we worked together to get it right.  I sketched the outline in pencil first, like this:


…and then I went back and filled in the outlines with my paint. ¬†Ultimately, it was easy, I promise – like a giant coloring book page.¬† A few words of advice:

1) make little x’s in the areas you want to fill in (you can see mine in the picture above). ¬†It seems silly when you are doing it, but it really helps ensure you don’t make any mistakes later on.

2) outline with a bristle brush, and then fill in with a foam brush. ¬†I didn’t do this at first, and there were several areas that looked patchy so I had to redo them – goody.

Here is a series of pictures to show you the progression – I highly suggest working from the top down, and taping off your edges if you are worried about getting crisp lines where it meets other walls and/or the ceiling and floor (I didn’t, but I am a rebel like that).

damask progression Despite my meltdown in the middle, it turned out really well, and it brings such personality to the entry.  The best part was that I already had the paint, so it was basically free!  Woo!

Till next time,


Entryway makeover and an introduction…

Let’s get the formalities out of the way, shall we? Hi! I’m Sarah, and my hubby and I are in the trial by fire process of fixing up our very first house. It’s a 1932 cottage (hence the incredibly clever blog name), and while it has its quirks, we love it. Much of the heavy lifting had already been done for us (well, sort of – more on that in future posts) since the house was a flip, but in the process of renovating the previous owner stripped away much¬†of the charm that was in the house :(. So, we are on a mission to bring back that charm, while still keeping with our modern aesthetic – blending the two into something new, homey, and uniquely ours. Oh, and we’re on a preeeeeety tight budget too, so expect creative thinking and DIY projects.

Speaking of which, I just redid the entryway of our little house. Here’s (a terrible iphone picture) of what it looked like before – try not to run away in terror!

Yep, it’s a beauty, isn’t it? Cheapo college-era wire shelves? Check! Shoes everywhere, all out in the open? Check! Pathetic attempt at a drop-zone for all the mail, bags, and general nonsense we lug home every day? Right there (those would be the baskets overflowing with stuff, in case you missed it, lol).

Needless to say, this was not the first thing I wanted people to see when they walked into our home. However, we are a “no shoes” house – those dark floors show every speck of lint and dust someone’s shoes may track in – so getting rid of the storage wasn’t an option. And as much as I might fantasize otherwise, the reality is that the mister and I are not going to stop leaving our bags and such by the door. I knew I needed something with hidden storage to stow away all the shoes, and I wanted to turn that little nook into a focal point. So, off to Pinterest I went – a search which turned up these examples of gorgeousness (drool).

Entryway ClosetMudroom makeover - thehouseofsmiths.com
via House of Smiths
DIYEntryBench creative cain cabin
via Creative Cain Cabin

Problem was, I wanted something:
a) fast
b) cheap (or better yet, free), and
c) with a minimum of building (what can I say, we had just finished 450 linear feet of hand built fence, and I wanted a break from power tools).

After some looking around the house at what I already had, I realized that while the Ikea¬†bookshelves (similar) we had in the office were full, they really didn’t need to be – at least half the stuff on them we never used or needed. Just like that, I had the first piece of the puzzle! For free!

So I packed up some of our stuff, gave some more of it away, and moved the now empty bookcase into the entry nook. On its side and with some legs from Ikea added, it was a perfect sideboard. Add in a painted damask accent wall (more details on that in an upcoming post), some lighting, and a few accessories, and this nook went from bedraggled to beautiful.

All it took was one weekend and ~$70.00. I also added some of these baskets from Target to store shoes, and the rest of the cubbies house a basket of stuff for our fuzzy daughter, Isabelle, as well as bags and the aforementioned crap-ola we bring home each day.

So now, drumroll please, the after pictures!


….and for comparison’s sake, a side-by-side:

I know the pictures are not up to snuff. ¬†Nighttime photo sessions + iphone camera = not so hot. I will do better, I promise! I also still need to add the finishing touches, like a new overhead light (our house was FULL of the dreaded boob-lights…ewwww), and maybe a small piece of art on the short wall. ¬†But seriously, I love it so much, y’all, I can’t even tell you. For now, I’m a happy girl!

Till next time,


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