Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How to transform a dresser to Media Console {Tutorial}

Another fabulous find
from Habitat for Humanity! Our farmhouse media console turned out perfect! We looked
for a few months debating on what type of media console we wanted and with most
manufactured sets costing well over $500 we started adventuring to the Habitat on a
weekly basis to try to find the perfect dresser to convert…and by luck we did! Although
it isn’t very ornate, the selling point for this dresser was it’s perfect size
(70 inches long exactly). We needed the size because we have a very long wall
in our family room and with the hopes for a TV upgrade in the next year, we
wanted to have the balance that would work with a bigger TV.

I’m super proud of the transformation and these quotes made me so much more excited to have something in my house that I repurposed while also supporting a great cause:

“Shopping at Habitat For Humanity ReStore does even more than assist Habitat’s mission of eliminating poverty housing! Your purchases grant a second life to items and prolong the life of our landfills by reducing waste.”
“At Habitat for Humanity, we build. We build because we believe that everyone, everywhere, should have a healthy, affordable place to call home. More than building homes, we build communities, we build hope and we build the opportunity for families to help themselves. Your donation will help families break the cycle of poverty and build long-term financial security. With an affordable, stable home, families have more to spend on food, medicine, child care, education and other essentials. Your support can help us do more in all the many ways that Habitat builds.”

What we used and cost:
Cost of Dresser = $42.40 (with tax)
Total Materials Cost = $119.51
*The material cost will go down significantly if you want to paint the top or your dresser has a real wood top that you can sand down and re-stain. Ours was not, which made us buy lumber and create a stained rustic farmhouse top to tie in our other furniture. 

  • (2) 1-2-6 select pine = $7.24
  • (1) 1-4-6 select pine = $6.96
  • (2) 1-6-6 select pine = $23.52
  • Valspar Chalky Finish Paint (color – Cathedral Stone), Quart = $29.99 (lasted the whole project) *again they warned not going with the “tinatable colors” but the paint color ended up exactly like the swatch so I was pleased
  • Valspar Clear Wax = $16.99 (you do not need all of this at all, but good to keep to more projects)
  • (2) Paint Brushes(one for paint and one for wax) *I cleaned my paint brush with water after every coat and reused it (own already…we have about 50, guess I’m a little bit of a paint brush hoarder)
  • Minwax Wood Stain, Red Oak, Quart = $7.99 (you do not need a quart can for this project, but I got the bigger one to make something else with)
  • Staining Rags= I had leftovers from another project
  • (6) 3-in Cabinet Pulls= $26.82
  • Miter Saw (own already)
  • Nail Gun(own already)
  • 2-Inch Hole Saw(own already)
  • Cabinet Door and Drawer Template(own already)
  • Sanding Sponge(own already)
2 Wicker Baskets Cost (HomeGoods) = $40

Total Media Console Cost = $201.91 (3 days of drying and labor time)

How we did it:

  1. Removed the 2 bottom drawers and drawer rail sliders on each end
  2. Dissembled drawer fronts from base and used to build the bottom of each side so baskets could sit inside
  3. Cut the holes in the center area for the wires using a 2” hole saw
  4. Used the wood from the dissembled drawers to cut a small block as the anchor for the drawer fronts to sit on – attached with nail gun
  5. Once the base was secured, the drawer doors were cut to size to fit perfectly on the bottom and were attached with a nail gun
  6. Used the wood from the disassembled drawer sides on each side of the dresser to add a little character and cover up some damage it had from transportation (cut to width)
  7. Used the cabinet drawer template to pre-drill the holes for our new hardware
  8. Wiped the entire dresser down with a damp rag and let dry for 20 minutes
  9. Painted the entire dresser (minus the top as we added the wood pieces) with one coat of paint and let dry overnight
  10. While the dresser was drying, we cut all our lumber for the new farmhouse top to fit the length of 70” and roughly sanded both ends
  11. Applied one coat of stain to all of the wood and let dry overnight
  12. 24 hours later, apply one more coat of paint to dresser and one more coat of stain to wood
  13. 24 hours later, check for missed areas on paint and apply one more spot coat if needed to dresser. I also ended up applying 3 coats of stain to my pine wood. The 3rd coat of stain was in the AM and when I didn’t like the way the stain took to 2 of the larger pieces I dry brushed the Valspar paint on in a very rustic manner to cover the botched stain. I actually like this method and glad I did it even if the stain came out, it gives it so much character!
  14. Liberlly applied Valspar wax sealant with a paint brush to the painted dresser
  15. Once everything is dry, we arranged the wood on the top and secured with the nail gun and attached the new drawer hardware
  16. Finally, we placed the baskets in to complete the rustic farmhouse look
  17. In order to keep the cable box hidden behind the doors, you can buy an Infrared Receiver Extender Cable which will allow transmission from the remote to the box…heck yes, no ugly box!
  18. All done!
Thursday, July 28, 2016

Our First Home

It’s a little bittersweet to say we have SOLD our first home.
I bought this home as a young 23 year old and never expected that 5 years later this would be the home that welcomed us home after an engagement, marriage, and our first child. This home was an effort of love and devotion that taught Willie and I so much about each other and I will always cherish the special moments we had living there. This home really craved the foundation of our marriage of building a beautiful home and family together and I hope it brings as much joy to the next family.
I’m so excited to start our next chapter and can’t wait to share some fabulous before and after photos from our new house, but for now, here are some of my favorite before/after shots of our amazing first home. Each picture I’ve made little comments of what we did to transform the space.
paint, light fixture, banister stain, flooring
wallpaper removal, paint, crown molding, light fixture, flooring,
appliances, grantie, stone backsplash
Kitchen/Breakfast Nook:
wallpaper removal, paint, crown molding, light fixture, flooring,
appliances, granite, stone backsplash

Dining Room:
paint, light fixture, flooring,
Dining Room (other view):
this is my beautiful chalk painted dining table

Guest Bath:
paint, light fixture, mirror, storage shelf, granite, new faucet, new vanity hardware

Main Floor Bath:
wallpaper removal, paint, crown molding, light fixture, mirror, granite,
new faucet, new vanity hardware, painted vanity, industrial pipe accents

Master Bathroom: 
paint, mirrors, granite, new faucet, new vanity hardware, painted vanity
paint, recessed lighting, new carpet, theather equipment

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Shabby Chic Re-finished Dining Set

2017 Update: Exciting new table version up on the blog here!
So I can’t take any credit for this masterpiece unless moral support counts 🙂 Remember the amazing whitewash brick post at my friend’s new house, well she has done a TON of projects to amp-up her decor in a budget friendly way by utilizing items she already had and giving them a complete makeover. This gorgeous wood table was her grandparents and spent years waiting for her to have space to display it. I am pretty obsessed with the claw foot detail and how she decided to keep the stunning wood on the top and on the seats.
How she accomplished this…
She started with sanding all the areas she was leaving wood just enough to get the top protective layer off. After a damp rag wipe off she was ready to stain. On the wood parts she used a dark walnut wood stain
and finished with a matte finish polyurethane. The white paint is Annie Sloan ‘Old White’ color. After it dried, she lightly sanded the painted surfaces giving it a distressed antique look.
We had so much fun Friday night around this table and I can’t wait for more girls night in the future laughing around this beautiful inherited treasure.







Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Goals

I know I’m a little late with the 2016 goals, but I bundled
last weekend into 2015 so I could enjoy one more night of wine and yummy food!
This 3 day weekend was amazing. Just having the time to do things around the
house like putting Christmas decorations away, loads of laundry, working out,
and spending some great quality time with family, friends, and of course baby
Hartley. It was a fabulous year seeing her grow and foster into a thriving
toddler and we just can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for us!

Some of my goals are lifestyle changes that I want to
continue or revamp while others are monetary goals that are fostered by those
lifestyle choices.

#1 – Save $1200 a month

Willie and I have budgeted are whole married life.
Subsequently, we are normally called the cheapos of our group. Willie’s best
man’s speech even included, “if you need a deal or coupon, call Willie because
you know he will find something”. We don’t skip on anything, at least we don’t
feel like we do, but we do make “informed purchases” is what I like to call
them.  Our goal for 2016 is to jointly
save $1,200 a month in order to help contribute towards a home purchase in the
near future. Here are some of my tips that may help you

  • I know it sounds horrible, but it is very true,
    we rarely eat out unless we have a coupon or Groupon/LivingSocial deal
    • Using
      a coupon or local deal can save you anywhere 5-50% every time you eat out. That
      is a lot of saving over a year!
  • Price match and never pay retail!
    • I
      know this may seem simple, but you do not know how many people I know that buy
      off convenience. Don’t do it. Also, never pay retail. I cannot remember the
      last time I bought something retail price. Head straight to a clearance rack
      (DO NOT just distracted by the sparkly shirt in the window), shop at outlets,
      shop sales, and duh…use coupons.
  • Know what you can get second-hand
    • Realizing
      the savings you can achieve by shopping at second-hand markets is the best
      saving tip!
  • Meal prep and eat at home
    • Working
      in Washington, DC, lunches can be upwards of $12 a day! $12, 5 times a week is
      $60. For Willie and I lunches alone would be $120 a week if we ate out every
    • Drink at home. This includes coffee and alcohol.
    • For
      a family of three, we spend about $200 on groceries (I do buy organic and
      healthier products, so you can lessen this) per week and normally only eat out
      once or twice on the weekend. $200/21 meals (3 meals a day for 7 days of the
      week)/3 people = $3.20 per meal. HUGE SAVINGS!
    • Using Costco or Thrive Market save me a ton on healthy products!
    • I
      meal prep every Sunday, yes…even at 9 p.m. last Sunday night when I was boiling eggs,
      making a paleo egg casserole, and getting our pot roast ready for Monday. This
      allows us to start our week out on the right eating path and not get caught at
      work hungry and running out to fill up on junk and paying convenience prices.

#2 – Save for Hartley’s education

Willie and I started with a financial advisor and I guess
college is important, so here comes another savings goal for the next 17 years 🙂 We are hoping to dedicate
$100 a month towards Hartley’s college fund.

#3 – Live a more toxic free life

After a recent horror story from a good friend about having
a severe allergic reaction to a new couch that had been chemically treated, I
was pushed even further into looking into the toxins that surround us. I have
always been aware and on the “holistic” side of things, but when I was pregnant
I researched the crap out of things, and I was SHOCKED by how many toxins are
in every products. I use my SAVINGS HERE. I eat mostly organic, use Essential Oils, natural cleaning products (I only use Young Living Thieves Cleaner
for Hartley’s things and love Mrs. Meyer’s
honeysuckle scent for dishes), Glass Food Storage, natural
odor/air purifiers (like this amazing Natural Himalayan Salt), and use natural
cosmetics (Arbonne‘s Arbonne RE9 Advanced Set, their Baby Herbal Diaper Rash Cream
is also a miracle). This new year, I am committed to staying on this path
to living a less toxic and environmentally friendly life style. I am also
eating more raw whole foods and lessening my meat consumption!!

#4 – Expand my blog

As a “newbie” I want to expand my blog and learn how to
interact better with my followers. I am committed to grow this blog and hope to
reach 500 followers by the end of the year! Help me by sharing, pinning and tweeting!! Thank you!

#5 – Get inspired and share!

We are all busy…I get it. But this year I am committed to
trying new things, visiting friends more often, learning from others and most
importantly sharing stories, memories, advice with one another. This year will
be full of wonderful inspiration! 

Get ready 2016…I’m coming for you!