Make it Werk

When we first moved in, there were so many projects I had to get done immediately. Not because I was excited, but because I was embarrassed. It seems stupid to be embarrassed by someone else’s design choice, but I was. I thought if I didn’t get rid of it right away, people would think I liked it and would judge my style by it. One of those ugly moments was the “pantry” in the kitchen.

Apparently the kitchen didn’t have a pantry so the previous owners went rogue and DIY’d one. I’m all about the DIY life, but only if you are willing to put in the time and effort into making it look professional. The old homeowners didn’t seem to do either. They added in a pantry that was about four inches deep, threw in sliding closet doors, slapped up some molding on the top only, and allowed their dog to go crazy scratching up the walls. This closet was one soup can deep. Why? WHY?! I wanted to permanently close that stupid pantry and forget it ever existed.

Eating AreaDumbest. pantry. ever.

The first week we removed the closet doors and put them in the garage until we could figure out a plan. My mom patched up the scratch marks with spackle and painted the shelves white. Instead of storing a few food items on the shelf, I decided to embrace the ugly and just make it work. Or werk, as Brittany Spears would say.

Turns out, I actually LOVE the seemingly odd pantry now. I think it provides the kitchen with character and seems like a built-in. You know I’m a sucker for an architectural feature.  It’s going to be perfect for adding a seasonal touch to the kitchen this fall and winter. I don’t really use it for anything useful other than looking good. I styled it simply by repeating items and colors. It’s  no surprise that I’m continuing on the black and white theme with pops of gold into the kitchen. It’s kind of my thing.

Open shelving sideGold spray painted mason jars from Michael’s.

Open shelving with curtains
Triangle stamped curtains inspired by Vintage Revivals. I used a magic eraser in the same Valspar paint as I used on the wall. I didn’t measure the triangles, but just eyed up the spacing for each row. I stamped each row varying the heights for a more laid back look.

Open Shelving

Shelves + curtains
I took these pictures pre- banquette.

Have you ever thought you hated something about your house but it turned out just fine? And you worried what other people would think when in reality, it only matters what you think? Share in the comments!

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I’m linking this post to…
All Things With Purpose


Bar Cart Love

Thank you so much to Beckie from Roadkill Rescue for featuring my countertop makeover this week! So honored and the write up of the project was so sweet. If you’re popping in from Roadkill Rescue, I’d love for you to stay and have a look around!

Nate and I were driving through our neighborhood when I screamed for him to stop the car. He ignored me. He does that often because typically the things I’m yelling are “Frozen Yogurt!” or “Target!” or “Sale!” I think he’s learned to take my “emergencies” with a grain of salt.

I insisted I saw something I had to have a few houses back. It was just sitting on the side of the road, just for me. Waiting. I got out of the car and found the bar cart of my dreams. My dreams consist of finding free things on the side of the road that I can makeover so it pretty much fit my high standards.

Here she is right off the curb:

Bar cart before

The plan was to spray paint the cart. That’s usually the plan 99% of the time. I sprayed the cart with a silver metallic spray paint that I had left over in my spray paint collection. Two coats did the trick. Next, Nate flipped over the cart and glued on two scrap pieces of wood with wood glue. We needed something to mount the wine glass rack to since the top shelf was too thin because we needed to use longer screws to make sure the glasses would be secure.

We let the glue dry over night with books on top of the wood to really adhere the scraps. The following day, Nate used the power drill to attach the wine glass holder to the wood he attached. We bought the rack from Bed, Bath & Beyond about two years ago to use at our old apartment. The rack was just sitting in our storage room since our new house had much more cabinet space and we didn’t really need the extra storage.

So if you’re putting everything together here, this project totaled zero dollars and zero cents. That’s free people. You hear me? FREE! That’s my kinda project.

Once the cart was dry, I went to town styling it. By going to town, I mean going to Goodwill. I’m all about buying new stuff, but I can buy more  things from the thrift store. More= more happy. Are you following me?

Styled bar on the side

Styled bar from right

Styled bar

Gold-rimmed glasses: Goodwill, Decanters: yard sale finds by Nate, Silver tray: Goodwill, Wine Glasses: gift from my mom for Christmas (she bought me two sets because I break my wine glasses like it’s going out of style), Mason Jar: Michael’s, Striped paper straws: Michael’s (use their coupons because these straws can run between $3-$6 dollars which seems overpriced for straws but they’re so dang cute. #amiright?), Ice bucket: Target, Cocktails recipe book: Pottery barn, Peace sign: HomeGood’s, White tray: Target

Styled bar from left

I LOVE this bar cart. I LOVE that it was free. What can I say? I’m in love!

Have you ever rescued anything from the side of the road? Did your husband think you were crazy, too?

And Happy Halloween! How are you celebrating? I’ll be watching Hocus Pocus with a few friends while anxiously awaiting Trick-or-Treaters. Last year was a bust due to Hurricane Sandy and I sat waiting by the stairs for my very first Trick-or-Treaters. I think I’ll just make tomorrow my second first Halloween as a home owner. I can’t wait!

P.S. I created a Facebook page for Pinterior Designer. Like the page (link in the sidebar) so you can get updates on  my latest posts and sneak peaks of projects.

P.P.S. Follow me on bloglovin please! The link is also in the sidebar.

I’m sharing this post at…

Six Sisters Stuff

Vases Need Sweaters, Too!

I saw the cutest idea at the blog An Extraordinary Day about how to dress up a boring vase with a sweater. This project just feels like fall.

Sweater Vase collageSupplies:
Hurricane Vases
Adhesive (I used caulk adhesive because that’s what I had on hand)

When I was at the thrift store, I slipped the vase inside of the sleeve of the sweater just to make sure it fit. Cut the sleeve off of the sweater to the correct length. Leave a little extra so you can cover the edge and adhere it to the vase. Annnnd that’s it. Easiest project ever!  I was able to cover 3 vases with one sweater. Thanks Diane for the great idea! I threw some silk flowers from Joann’s inside that I bought for 75% off a few months ago. The plant is from Ikea. They sell them for $2. Since I already had the glue, flowers, and one of the vases on hand, the project totaled $5 and I’m obsessed! What else can I put a sweater on?!

Sweater Vases

Vases with Instagram photos

Sweater Vases + Homegoods Dresser

Vases(The dresser is from Home Goods and I use it to store our linens)

The Instagram collage above was also a simple project. I bought a poster-sized frame from TJ Maxx on clearance for $10. I used the backing that came with the frame to use as a background for my pictures. The app Postal Pix allows you to order your Instagram photos right from your phone and they send them to you. The 4 x 4 photos cost between 29-33 cents per photo. The photos arrived within a week. From there, I laid out the photos and shuffled them around until I liked the set up. I didn’t measure because I’m the worst at measuring. True story. I loved the app because I never print pictures anymore since everything is online or on my phone. Problem solved!

Instagram Collage

Anybody doing anything crafty lately? Or have you done anything creative with your iPhone photos? Share in the comments!

How To: Custom Kitchen Seating

Can I just say that I was beyond excited to be featured on Tatertots & Jello this weekend. So HUGE! If you’re stopping by from TT & J, welcome and please stick around!

Get ready folks, there’s a lot of pictures to explain this one. I asked my husband Nate to help me out since he did the majority of the building. My job for this project was the design, painting, and building the cushion and headboard, plus I do all the “get me this tool or hold this in place” work. I’m the Al Borland to his Tim Taylor.

Once I decided I wanted a banquette, I scoured Pinterest for inspiration and was not disappointed. I created a really amateur mood board to convey my vision to Nate. This was almost a year before I started blogging so I find it hilarious that I did one just because I felt like it.

Mood Board

Once I showed him that, he seemed excited about it. From there, I drew a sketch of all the elements I liked, while keeping it as manageable as possible, and we were off! We made a trip to Lowe’s to purchase our supplies. Here’s what we came home with:

DIY Banquette Supply List:
Power sander
2 x 3s for the frame
Two 1 x 10s for the bench
1 x 3s to attach the headboard and for the trim
Metal brackets + Nuts and bolts to attach headboards
1 finish veneer plywood
2 sheets of plywood for the headboards + leftovers for the bench upholstery
3. 5 inch wood screws

While at Lowe’s we had them cut the plywood and veneer down to some basic measurements so we could fit in the car. Lowe’s will cut your wood for free!

Wood Collage

Supplies we already had on hand:
Air compressor and brad nail gun
Screw driver
Hitachi Miter saw
Tape measure
White paint
Paint supplies
Craftsman circular saw

Don’t hate me but I didn’t include exact numbers of supplies or measurements. 1. We did this project before I started blogging and 2. We made so many trips for extra supplies that it was hard to keep track. I thought no one would need the exact measurements we used because we fit it to our own kitchen anyways. If you have any specific questions, leave them in the comments and hopefully I can answer them.

Nate began by building the frame. First he built the long frame closest to the wall (A), then attached the horizontal boards on the top and bottom using a brad nail gun to hold the boards in place (B). He went back and reinforced the boards by using the power drill with 3.5 inch wood screws. From there he built section C which was the long frame closest to the rest of the kitchen and attached with brad nails and screws.


Nate repeated the same process to make a second bench. This bench is slightly smaller because we custom fitted it to the space we had.

Frame only

Once Nate built both frames, he attached them together using wood screws.

Frame + Front 2

Next, he cut the finish board to size using a circular saw. He attached those with just brad nails since the wood is so thin. We only finished the front since you’ll never see the back. Why do extra work for no reason?

Add the 1 x 3 trim to front using the nail gun. Nate did the border first followed by the vertical pieces. He cut them to fit using a miter saw. He made the measurements so exact he had to hammer them into place which made the trim look seamless.

Frame + Board and Batten

To decide where to put the vertical trim, he measured the length and divided by three. The spaces between vertical trim is actually different from the left bench to the right bench but we figured no one would notice (we were right). We thought it would look odd if we kept the measurements the same and were left with one really small square.

Nate attached the headboard using two different methods. For the left headboard, he used metal brackets from Lowe’s. They were thin and allowed the bench to sit flush against the wall. To do this, he drilled a hole in the headboard before I upholstered it. He used a nut to hold the bolt in place until we were ready to install. Then when we were ready to attach it, we took the nut off, and put it through the metal bracket, and secured it with the nut. We did this in three different spots. For the bench by the window, Nate screwed 1 x 3s to the frame from the very bottom to just below the top of the headboard. We weren’t worried about it being flush against the wall so we went this route. We also didn’t want anyone accidentally leaning too hard against the headboard into the window which is why we wanted support all the way up.

Process of painting

The top seat is two 1 x 10 boards Nate screwed in with the 3.5 inch wood screws. After adding the trim and bench, he sanded them both using a power sander. Once Nate sanded them, I went back with white adhesive caulk and caulked all of the seams. I spackled over any of the screws that were visible. It took two coats of Valspar Ultra White to cover the entire banquette. I had some left over from other projects but if you had to go out and buy paint for this, you would only need a quart. I wish I would have painted before we attached the headboard because I was a nervous wreck trying not to get the paint on the headboard. I did.

Painted Banquette

I’ll post directions for the bench and headboard later this week, but this post was already direction heavy so we’ll just call it a day. One mistake I made was in the measuring. Surprised? I decided how high the bench should be based on our old kitchen chairs. I didn’t take into account the boards on top, the plywood I used for the bench, the batting, or three inches of foam. The benches are a little on the high side because of my measuring mistake but we’re still happy with the overall result.

Finished banquette + kitchen

The project came in at around $250. We’ve had the banquette for over half a year now and we love it. Nate and I entertain often  so we’ll push the table out further into the kitchen so a bunch of people can hang out on the benches while they snack. We finished the whole project in one weekend and we could have had it done faster, but this was one of our first really big building projects so there was a huge learning curve. I had a broken staple gun which made the upholstery next to impossible and Nate wished he would have broken down and bought the finish nail gun we decided to put back when we were at Lowe’s because it would have added $100 to our bill. I bought the wrong amount of fabric and had to go back to Joann’s 4 different times + a trip to AC Moore. We also made 2 extra trips to Lowe’s. It was really frustrating but we’re slowly learning to expect every project takes way longer, costs way more, and is way harder than we imagine. In the end, it’s always worth it. We have an original piece that fits perfectly in our space and the design of our home.

Finished BanquetteIkea Chairs, Table is a family piece (which we are hoping to replace because it’s not big enough and we need a center pedestal so you can slide down the bench without hitting your legs on the center legs).

For your viewing pleasure…

Bench and table


Front view of banquette

Have you ever taken on any crazy building projects? How did it turn out? Or maybe you want to but are too nervous you’ll mess up. In that case…go for it! I can assure you, you WILL mess up. No need to worry about that anymore. It’s totally worth it though because you’ll end up with an awesome piece of furniture that’s all your own. And you can tell everyone who comes to your house you designed and built it. Not that we’re bragging or anything…

P.S. I’m sharing this post at…
Home Stories A to Z
Coastal Charm
Not Just a Housewife
All Things with Purpose
DIY Show Off
Six Sisters Stuff

How To: Countertop Makeover!

Update: I’m giving away a quart of Rust-Oleum Countertop Coating…the same stuff I used on my counters to make such a huge transformation! Go to this link to enter the giveaway: The giveaway lasts from November 19-26, 2013. Good luck!

So there’s this. THIS is the MLS picture of our kitchen. I guess its ok, but honestly it’s 100% NOT my style. I like modern. Black and white. Sleek finishes. Pops of bright colors. Not whatever this is.

Eating Area

Eat in Kitchen

The oak cabinets, oak blinds, outdated light over the table, mismatched appliances, the color, the wood over the sink window, the beige countertops and  back splash, the random closet in the kitchen… None of it was working. I do love the size and that it’s open to the living room.

The first thing on the to do list was to paint the cabinets white. My mom and I tackled that the first week we moved in. Spoiler alert- painting cabinets SUCKS! Shortly after, she helped install brushed nickel handles. Nate and I replaced the fridge and dishwasher with stainless steel appliances and are hoping to upgrade the stove and vent in the next year or so.

The kitchen went through this awkward middle phase where it still looked too country for my taste. Exhibit A:

One week after moving in.

A few months later.

Eventually, I DIY’d valances out of cardboard and hung black and white 8 x 10s of my nieces and nephew. All good ideas, but the kitchen still wasn’t coming together. Finally, the blog Vintage Revivals inspired me to paint the kitchen a dark grey. So dark it’s basically black. That’s when things started to fall into place.

Bar counters

I LOVED the dark color. It lends itself to the modern feel that I gravitate towards, but it only made my countertops look even more blah. I want to eventually replace them with a marble-esque quartz, but I’m still saving my pennies. I looked into the countertop transformation kits, but they cost a minimum of $150 and there was no way I was spending that much cash on a project that was just supposed to hold me over until I could afford what I really wanted. Luckily, a friend said Lowe’s sold countertop coating, not the entire kit and it cost just $21.99. Sold! Rust-Oleum Countertop Coating  have 10 color options and I chose the darkest black. Surprise, surprise.

To coat your countertops, you’ll need:Countertop Materials
60 grit sandpaper
A rag
Painters tape and drop cloths
Foam roller and paint tray
Rust-Oleum Countertop Coating
Patience. Lots of it.

Begin by quickly sanding down your countertops with 60 grit sandpaper (and back splash if you for some reason have laminate on your back splash like me. ugh). Use a rag to wipe your countertops down. Next, begin rolling your ugly laminate countertops with the coating. The coating is super thin and will be runny. That’s normal. Using the foam roller makes the finish appear smoother than a roller with a nap. The back of the can said it would only take one coat, but mine was wayyyy too thin and needed two. DO NOT touch up once you finish an area. Walk away from the counters! I repeat: Walk away from the counters! A few times, I would come to a spot I did a few minutes earlier, notice an imperfection and would roll over it. Good news, that made the problem look worse. Since it was starting to dry, the re-roll never smoothed the area out, but made it look bumpy. Resist the urge to touch-up. I waited an hour and then rolled another coat which smoothed out most of the messy spots.

For the back splash, I used leftover white paint and rolled it on with the same foam roller as the countertops after I sanded and wiped them clean. The countertops and back splash need replaced simultaneously  since they’re basically connected (yay), so I don’t want to sink a ton of cash into them while we save.

The worst part of this process is that the counters take 3 days for the coating to cure. You can’t put anything on them and you aren’t supposed to even touch it. For someone who doesn’t actually cook, it wasn’t a big deal, but for those of you who do need your kitchen, that could get old quickly. BUT! I think you’ll agree that the wait was totally worth it…

Decorated Kitchen Counters

Bar counters coatedPros:
Cheap! $22 well spent.
It only took me an afternoon to complete the entire project (I did have help though)
Totally updates the look of the kitchen
I’ve had them since July and they’ve held up well. Food and liquids wipe right up!

The 3 days the counters took to cure tested my patience.
Little things stuck in the counters as they dried and I had to carefully pick them out, like my golden retriever’s hair. Thanks Sam.
There are a few spots from my crock pot that left a mark. I guess the heat affected it? The marks are small though so I’m probably the only person who would notice.

Would you ever coat your countertops? Have you tried any quick fixes to hold you over while you saved for what you really wanted? Share in the comments!

Stay tuned next week for a tutorial and tips on how to build your own banquette like the one Nate and I designed and built!


P.S. I’m linking up some of my recent posts at these blogs:
Made in a Day
Hi Sugarplum!
Posed Perfection
Six Sisters Stuff

How To: Faux Picture Frame Molding

Every room needs something to make it stand out. My personal style is all about white, architectural accents– we’ve added chair rail, board and batten, crown molding and built-in book shelves. I just think it’s so classy. What can I say? I’m a classy lady. I’m dreaming of adding picture frame molding in our living room underneath the chair rail. It WILL happen one day. You can take that to the bank.

Our guest bedroom has turned into a hand-me-down room since we’ve moved into our house. It’s filled with leftover’s from our old apartment and didn’t have anything that made it seem awesome. I wanted the guest room to have a hotel-like (not Holiday Inn…) feel to it, but it ended up just feeling blah.  I painted a chevron wall in my craft room so I thought I could easily tackle the faux picture molding finish that is popping up all over Pinterest to spice up the guest room. This is a creative alternative to adding actual molding, and it creates a similar result. This would be great for renters since you could just paint over it when you’re ready to move out.

Just for a good time, here’s the MLS picture of what the guest bedroom looked like before we bought the house. See what I mean?? So basic. I know that’s not my stuff, but still, you get the picture.

guest bedroom

This project took me about 3-4 hours and it was cheapity cheap cheap because the only material I had to purchase was one quart of paint. That’s what I’m talking about!

Painters Tape
Tape Measure (or a coaster and DVD case if you’re measuring challenged)
Angled paint brush, roller, & tray
Small brush for touch ups
Paint color of “molding”
New wall color (I used one quart because I just painted one wall)

*The paint is from Sherwin Williams. I’ve used Behr, Sherwin Williams, and Valspar and SW is by FAR my favorite. The paint is a bit pricier, but if you buy during one of their 30-40% off sales, it’s the same price as Lowe’s or Home Depot. Totally worth it.

My first step was to tape off the pattern of molding I wanted. I taped the rectangles using a DVD case as a measuring tool to make sure the two end rectangles were the same distance from the wall. I HATE measuring things because it’s a waste of time. I never do it right so why bother?! Next, I held a coaster up to all four corners and taped around the coaster to create the indented design. Then, I used an exacto knife to trim the edges of the corners. The frame on the left has the corners trimmed, the frame on the right doesn’t.

Taped Molding

I learned an amazing trick from another blogger about a year ago, but I forget who it was from (sorry!) but it’s too good not to share. To seal the tape, paint over the edges with the base paint color. My sister and her boyfriend painted this room Egg Shell by Behr when we first moved in so I painted over the tape with Egg Shell.  This seals the edge of the tape and prevents the new paint color from bleeding into the tape. I’ve tried smoothing the tape down with a credit card and using the tape roll to press down on the tape and neither have been effective. I’ve also tried both Scotch-Blue and Frog Tape and haven’t found a brand that I love for painting lines, but this trick makes really crisp lines.

Seal tape with paint

Once the paint dried, I rolled one coat of Sherwin Williams “Passive.” I asked the SW employee to recommend a popular gray and she helped me narrow down what type of gray I wanted (blue undertones, green undertones, or no undertones). I wanted a pure gray so this is what I ended up with and I LOVE it!

Guest Bedroom After

After I finished my one and only coat, I let the paint dry for about 30 minutes then I pulled the tape off. I went back and touched up a few spots where the lines weren’t perfect. I hardly had any touch-ups because the lines were pretty much AMAZING. The few spots that did need fixed, I used a small craft paint brush because it allows for more control than a regular brush.

Faux Picture Frame Molding

(DIY’ed silhouette artwork, bedding by Cynthia Rowley for Home Goods, spray painted neon pink lamps, headboard by American Signature Furniture)

Anyone attempt a fun painting technique lately? Or maybe you’ve done a cheap project that’s totally changed the feel of the room? Share in the comments!

*Use the pin button below to share pictures on Pinterest. Thanks!

Linking up this post to:
Six Sisters Stuff