Archive of ‘Home decor’ category

So Many DIY’s, So Little Time

I must have this. Must must must must. Must. I don’t make it a habit to host wine tastings (though we do taste plenty of wine at Casa Parker), but that is not going to stop me from pestering my husband to build this with me STAT. I’m picturing wine bottles and beer at summer picnics, juice boxes at the kid’s birthday parties and potted flowers the rest of the time (a centerpiece set lower than the table doesn’t block anyone’s view!)

If this photo is filling you with the must-haves as much as it is me, just click the photo to visit the tutorial. If you beat me to it (and since we have plans this weekend, you likely will), send me some pictures of how yours turned out! I will post pictures of ours when it’s done and if you’d like to show off yours just let me know and I’ll post it too. Of course, ours will look a little different than the photo above because instead of plain old corks, our bottles will be decked out in these:

Click the photos to see the current Milk & Honey line of wine stoppers. Santé

Hallway or Mudroom Storage- Photo Tutorial

A few weeks ago I decided that something must be done about the train wreck we call a front hall. Feel free to refresh your memory here, but brace yourself for some altogether UN-luxurious pictures! Well, during my Spring Break I tackled the hall and created the storage unit for the kid’s debris. It didn’t end up fitting in the closet as I’d planned, but that’s only because I was too impatient to wait around until the perfect bookcase came along, so I bit the bullet and trudged off to Target.

I usually try to avoid Target for a few reasons. Mostly because I prefer shopping locally owned businesses and would rather spend more at my favorite antiques store to get solid wood instead of mass-produced particle-board. But also because I could go in for laundry detergent and new socks only to leave with $200 worth of god knows what. Case in point, among my ill-advised Target “must-haves” have been: approximately 7212 matchbox cars (blatant bribery to keep my oldest happy while I shop), orchids which I kill within a week, a pink tool set (returned when I realized that the projects I undertake require real actually yellow tools, not plastic Barbie ones), a lamp with a white fake fur lampshade (that one was over a decade ago but I still cringe when I think of that lamp), and any make-up product that they put on the end-caps (especially mascara. I am a mascara junkie). So it was with great restraint that I went into Target, purchased only what I needed and got out immediately (I even managed to by-pass the Starbucks they installed near the checkout). Then I came straight home and got to work. Here’s the how-to:

Materials: Bookcase of whatever size works for you, bead-board (I brought the backing of the bookcase with me so that they could cut it to size in store), 3 coat hooks (I chose brushed nickel), two  shallow baskets, black spray paint (or whatever color your want your bead-board to be), hammer (or nail gun if you already have one), power drill with a wood-bit.

Step 1- Take the cut bead board outside and spray paint it in two thin coats.

Step 2- Assemble the bookcase per the enclosed instructions. Try not to gag on the particle board vapors. Do not install the shelves, but keep them somewhere in case you want to use it as an actual bookcase once the kids are no longer in grade school. Also, do not install the back piece yet.

Step 3- Put the bead board into place as if it were the cheapo particle board. Then put the particle board backing over it because it has a nicer back and gives it a more finished look.

bead board in place, covered with the particle board backing

Step 4- Nail the backings in place. I used my upholstery nail gun for this, but you can use a hammer if you don’t have a nail gun. my nail gun lets me line up the nails with the pre-existing nail holesStep 5- Install the coat hooks. I placed these as high as possible so that their coats and book bags wont hang in the way of the shoe baskets.

the bead board is hard so you’ll want to start your holes with the wood bit on your drill before screwing in the screws

Step 6- Look at the back of the bookcase and realize that all the screws have shot out the other side, nearly drilling into the wood of your door frame. Release expletive of choice. Step 7- Remember that there are very few problems in life that can’t be solved with wine. Locate 3 wine corks and cover the sharp ends of the screws.

problem solved

Step 8- Put the baskets in the bottom and inform your children that their school bag, coats and shoes have a new home. You can also add that if their coats, bags and shoes don’t remain in their new home, you will make yet ANOTHER new home, this time for barbies and matchbox cars. And that new home is on top of the refrigerator for a week.

All finished!

No more front hall disaster!

I took these pictures in bright light so they’re a little hard to see, but if you like the basket of vintage print sachets, you can find them here, here, here, and here. They smell amazing- like cinnamon and vanilla.

DIY: Silhouette Wall

Lots of people (myself included) like to have one of those photo-walls, a massive collection of family pictures hung close together with the only unifying element being the same color frame (I’ve done one with all black frames and later, all silver). I still like the look of it, but I wanted to make it a little simpler. Around that time my mother in law gave me a silhouette of my husband as a child. I loved it and it immediately went on the photo wall. Later we had our children’s silhouettes cut and they also went on the wall. That was when I had the idea to transform all the pictures into silhouettes. This was a long and tedious process and I was so relieved when I was finished. I had my family over and I proudly showed them the finished product. My brother immediately pointed out a tiny 3×5 empty frame that I somehow missed.Thanks a lot buddy. That little frame has nagged at me ever since. As long as I had to make one more, I decided to make it into a photo tutorial. And away we go..

First, I selected the final image for the silhouette. I chose this one of my husband and daughter in a porch swing overlooking the Piankatank river. I took it on a warm July day when we were celebrating my mother in law’s birthday. One of those perfect summer afternoons you long for in mid-February. (“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language” ~Henry James)

I previewed the photo on my desktop and hit the “fix” button at the top. Then I changed the image to black and white (using the “saturation” tool under the color tab to the right of the screen), and adjusted the brightness and contrast to make the picture as close to true black and white as I could. This isn’t a vital step, but I find it helpful to get a feel for what your finished product is going to look like. There have been several pictures that I thought would make great silhouettes, only to find that they were unrecognizable once I’d finished.

Next, I printed the image (you can print directly from the preview, or insert the image into word and print from there). Then cut it out carefully. I like to use hairstylist scissors because they are smaller, sharper and have the little hook on the bottom to steady your hand. Once you cut out the main image, go in with an x-acto knife and cut out the center details. I do this right on the glass top of my desk (because I am campaigning for a new desk and destroying this one will further my cause. Just as my husband leaves the perfectly good grill uncovered in the rain and snow when he thinks it’s time for an upgrade. Soon enough it will rust and he’ll get his new grill). If you aren’t actively trying to destroy your furniture, just use a cutting board for the x-acto part of this. Here is the image after being cut out: Next you trace it onto the back of black card stock. You can get card stock at any craft store for a few cents a sheet. When I began my silhouette wall, my plan was to cut the images in one pattern of card stock and mount them on a contrasting pattern. Then I realized that went against the point of simplifying so I stuck with black and white. But by all means, do yours in whatever colors or prints you’d like. Here is the tracing:You might notice that I did not reverse the image before tracing it. This made my final silhouette a mirror image of the actual picture. This will likely bother me every time I look at it until I finally take it down and re-do it. Save yourself the hassle and flip the image before tracing on the back of your black card stock.

After tracing, just cut it out again with the scissors and x-acto knife. Then turn it over and find that you’ve accidentally cut into the black surface of the card stock. They make high quality paper colored all the way through so that this doesn’t happen. Obviously this is not high quality paper:That’s okay. Sharpie to the rescue:Now it’s time to frame it. Take some tape rolls and apply to a few spots on the back. You don’t want to completely tape it down or use spray glue because the image needs to sit just above the white backing so that it casts a faint shadow, giving it dimension.Next, apply it to your white (or whatever color you chose) card stock backing like so:I probably should have taken a nice “after” picture of it in its frame, but I was in too much of a rush to get it up on the wall. Here is the silhouette wall, finally completed:See, there it is, top center. Try to ignore all that empty space on either side of the console. I used to have potted plants there but I killed them and haven’t decided what to put in their place. Open to suggestions..

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