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Category: DIY

DIY

diy: creating built-in bookcases

We’ve been dreaming for years about adding built-in bookcases on the main level of our house. Both of us love books, and we had boxes and boxes of books in our storage unit . . . just waiting for this project to be completed! And we specifically wanted to add the bookcases to the wall below because we wanted to balance the living room. Directly opposite these new bookcases are two big windows, a window seat, and a glass door to our sunporch. There’s a lot of energy on that other side of the room, and we needed…

DIY

living room: designing for traffic flow and conversation

Over a year ago, I told you that I planned to redo our living room. In the five years we’ve lived here, that room has never felt exactly right, and I wanted to make it shine. Plus, our house is small, so we need all of our spaces to be cozy and functional. Because that room never quite worked and was usually pretty dark, we almost never used it. When we bought the house, the room was painted sage green. The previous owners’ long sofa was against the wall, facing the fireplace, and two chairs flanked the…

DIY

adding caning to louvered closet doors

When we renovated the second story of our house in late 2019, money got a little tight toward the end of the project. So when it was time to make one of the last purchases for the renovation — doors for my new closet — I bought very cheap bi-fold, louvered doors from Home Depot. I figured I’d be forced to do something creative . . . and now, more than two years later, I finally did it! I have to admit, this project took us months to complete! We started in early spring and finished a few weeks ago…

DIY

replacing window screens

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been cleaning and fixing up our screened-in porch, a glorious spot that our whole family loves. It’s been neglected for a long time, so we have a lot of work to do! We need to fix the screens, clean out the cobwebs, fix the jalousie windows, and touch up the paint. When we bought the house, the porch was quite a fright. Right away, we cleaned all the walls and painted them Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. We hung a few photos printed on canvas and bought some wicker furniture…

Last-minute Easter table

Easter is one of my favorite holidays, full of lots of family traditions. It’s a low-stress holiday for us (unlike Christmas!), plus the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. We go to church in the morning and then come home for a leisurely, relaxed Sunday dinner. We pop some champagne, sit outside, and enjoy deviled eggs, pimento cheese, and cornichon pickles. I usually put out sandwich fixings, John makes gin and tonics, and we always have some kind of silly dessert. A few years ago I tried my hand at this famous Betty Crocker cake…

from scary basement to cozy family room

Our basement has been such a LONG work in progress! When we moved into the house in August 2017, the basement floor was filled with asbestos and there was mold inside the walls. So unpleasant. We quickly paid for mold rehabilitation and for someone to cover the asbestos floors with a concrete-like substance that sealed in the asbestos. My parents moved into the basement, and they laid grey laminate flooring and added a built-in desk along one wall. After they moved out in August 2018, we didn’t do much to the basement, and it quickly became…

DIY

refinishing an outdoor patio table

Last year we bought a patio coffee table from Article. It was pretty expensive, and I was very disappointed when the finish quickly started to peel off the top of the table. We called Article several times, and they refused to refund our money, claiming that the table wasn’t intended for outdoor use (despite the description and photos on their website). For the past six months, every time I stepped outside and saw that table I felt a twinge of annoyance . . . so we finally decided to take matters into our own hands! (Please excuse our lack of plants…

Transforming an unused nook

I’m having so much fun thinking about the best ways for my friends to transform their living room! Earlier this week I shared some ideas about how they could redesign the main part of the living room. The living room has a half wall separating it from the kitchen. Usually the kitchen table is on the side of the wall shown in the photo below. I’m focused on the side of the wall that faces the living room, as shown in the photo below. As I mentioned in this post, they plan to sand down the…

A cozy, light-filled living room

Two dear friends of mine moved into a new house and are in the process of making it feel more like home. They have two little boys, so they don’t want anything too precious. But they also want to feel comfortable and cozy in their living room, which is the main hangout area of their house and opens to their kitchen. They use this room to watch tv, read, and hang out as a family. They don’t use the fireplace very often, and they love looking out of the windows. As the pandemic winds down, they…

DIY

DIY Serena & Lily Poetto Vase

Serena & Lily has the most beautiful home decor, but it’s so pricey! Their catalog arrives at our house every few months, and I love to sit down with a cup of tea and leaf through it. One of my favorite bloggers, Nesting with Grace, uses a lot of Serena & Lily items throughout her home–if you haven’t seen her blog, it’s drool-inducing–and she often features the gorgeous Poetto vase. I’ve coveted this vase for a while but can’t justify the price tag. This weekend…