Wednesday, February 27, 2013

{DIY: The $100 Platform Bed, Box Spring Replacement + Refinished Nightstands}

Kate and I have planned to upgrade to a Cal King bed for a while now. We sold our queen bed and purchased an adjustable bed frame for our mattress and box spring in the interim. The plan was to buy a Cal King mattress, box spring and make a custom wood headboard.

After completing the headboard, we were left with a list for or master refresh that looked like this:
  • Replace ceiling fan
  • Purchase and/or possibly refinish nightstands
  • Upgrade to a Cal King bed set.
  • Get a full size mirror (like this one)
  • Eventually put up crown molding
  • Build a headboard
  • Build/purchase closet organizer
A box spring isn’t really a “spring” at all—it’s just a wooden box riser. We realized how silly it was to spend several hundred dollars for what amounts to a couple pieces of wood, some cardboard and matching fabric cover that 99 percent of people are going to cover with a plain sheet. That said—no one wants to put the mattress on the floor.

You don't need to spend the money on a box spring or expensive platform bed to get the benefits.
I went searching for DIY platform bed plans and everything was overly complicated. My method is a simple  two-step process that includes building a basic platform followed by wrapping the raw wood with more attractive boards. It's the same basic principle as putting painted and textured drywall over a wall frame when you are building a house.

The best thing about a platform bed is that space isn’t wasted like it would be if you bought a box spring. That means storage! You can never have enough storage space and with this platform bed there is a ton of storage underneath. We haven't even decided what to do with all that space. This is the biggest selling point on a platform bed for most people. Most of the platform beds at a furniture store come with drawers underneath, but for the $900+ I’ll save my back and store things under the bed I don’t use often. You *could* get fancy bins for clothes, etc.

The complete tutorial after the break!

Friday, February 22, 2013

{Master Bedroom: The Reveal}

Early last week I shared our fabulous new headboard with you here! And might I say, Thank you so much for your sweet comments and excitement about how it turned out! That project must have really got our juices flowing because that following weekend we managed to find and refinish new nightstands we found on craigslist, upgrade from our old queen mattress to a new cal-king AND build a new platform bed! Our Master bedroom is finally done (well, for now..) and we are absolutely LOVING it!

My husband would really love to share a tutorial for the platform bed he built, as he really couldn't find anything similar to how he built ours. So I'm going to give him the spotlight on Monday to give you a nice, detailed tutorial. But for the rest of you who are just here to see pictures, stay in your seats because that's exactly what I've got for you today!

 So without further ado, our Master makeover...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Claire Elizabeth {15 Months}


These past few months have been such an incredible joy and have undeniably flown by far too quickly! Claire has undoubtedly grown and developed in leaps and bounds since her first birthday a mere three months ago. Just after her birthday those casual steps became full-on walking and she is now on the go all. the. time! To Claire, the world is one giant jungle gym, meant solely for her to explore. Walking has opened up all new possibilities for our little one from where she gets to play at the park (hello, slides!) to discovering every single nook and cranny of our home. We've certainly got ourselves an adventurous and determined little cutie who is vastly aware of her surroundings!

We are still enjoying our weekly gymnastics class and incredibly proud of how she engages with the teacher and other kids in her class and recently, I've really noticed her bringing the things she's learning home with her. Mainly the signs they practice in class. Around 13 months, I noticed Claire suddenly began responding to several signs we'd been practicing, most notably: more, again, help, all done, eat, please and a few specific food signs. Signing is so helpful for her to be able to communicate with us, especially since, as much as she babbles all day long, she really doesn't say many words yet.

Our girl has definitely become my little "helper" in the kitchen and is always leaving me little surprises in the most obscure places. But what mom doesn't love finding a teddy bear in the bath tub or a puppy on her nightstand?! They serve as such sweet reminders of her innocence! Watching our girl learn new things each day is nothing short of a privilege. I am amazed by the fact that she knows each of her stuffed animals by name and will seek each of them out when asked and will lift up her shirt and point when we ask where her bellybutton is located and gets a kick out of pointing ours out as well. She is a wonderful sharer (highly encouraging for our next child) and such a love bug!! My absolute favorite moments are when she leans in to plant a wet kiss right on my lips and when she wraps her arms around my neck and squeezes me tight. Nothing melts my heart quite like those moments and absolutely nothing makes me ever so grateful to be a mommy!

And of course, she is our child so she loves to laugh and make others laugh, too! When she's tired and trying to fight sleep, she will start fake laughing just to hear us laugh, which of course, turns into an all-out giggle fest (nicely played, Claire;). Her obsession with phones is at an all-time high and recently she makes a game out of putting my phone (or anything remotely resembling a phone) up to her ear and saying "hi" over and over and over. Ha, silly, silly girl! And I simply cannot forget Claire's obsession with dancing! Most days include a mini-dance party where little Missy gets her groove on (cutest thing ever!!)

She is still an awesome eater and currently chomping with eleven teeth, including those that have just popped through! Her current favorite foods include: yogurt, waffles, veggie straws, pasta, cheese sticks, edamame, blueberries and pretty much any fruit and vegetable we put in front of her. And she has gotten quite efficient at using a fork and spoon to feed herself. We are still nursing 2-3 times a day and it's not looking like she's ready to give those sessions up any time soon, which is okay with me :) And we're pretty certain that she's going to be a lefty, given the way she primarily eats and favors her left hand for all tasks.

All in all, these past few months have been a blast, especially since they included her first holidays where she was aware of what was going on around her and fully able to take part in the festivities! A few weeks ago both of our families joined us for a day in the snow to celebrate her Daddy's birthday, where Claire got to partake in her first snow sledding experience!

Time is passing far too quickly, but we are savoring each and every day loving on our sweet, amazing girl!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

{Custom Headboard: A Labor of Love}

The last time we chatted about our Master bedroom, it looked a little something like this:

And our list of to-dos still looked like this:
  • Replace ceiling fan
  • Purchase and possibly refinish nightstands
  • Upgrade to a Cal King bed
  • Get a full size mirror (like this one)
  • Eventually put up crown molding
  • Build a headboard
 I'm so excited to share that a good chunk of that list has been checked off! This weekend my awesome hubby completed our headboard, which means that our to-do list now looks like this:
  • Replace ceiling fan
  • Purchase and possibly refinish nightstands (Found what we want and ready to purchase)
  • Upgrade to a Cal King bed (Currently in the market)
  • Get a full size mirror (like this one)
  • Eventually put up crown molding
  • Build a headboard
  • Build/purchase closet organizer
Obviously we have made other small changes here and there over the course of a year, but this project has definitely been the most drastic improvement to our room so far! We're quite smitten with the turn out and amazed at what a big difference it makes in the overall feel of our bedroom.  But before I go on with the details and a brief tutorial, here she is in all her glory:

You might be wondering why we made it so wide and the answer is that we made it to fit a Cal-King bed that we are currently in the market to purchase - Yay!!! With that upgrade, there will be about a foot of headboard on each side. Of course that is our personal preference, but you could certainly cut it down to your desired width.

We really wanted the headboard to be a dominant element in our bedroom as we've chosen to keep our room simple with minimal furniture. I really love the rich tones and masculine/rustic balance this addition gives our space!

All-in-all, this was a fairly simple and inexpensive project. More than anything it required time, which these days is quite precious around here, so I consider this a labor of love from my husband!

I have put together a short step-by-step for this project below if you are interested (I apologize that I don't have any pictures of the process so please feel free to ask if anything is unclear or you have questions!)

Eight 8 ft. Pine boards cut to the size you desire $4/each
Three 6 ft support boards  $3/each
Sand Paper: 80 & 150 grit Already had
Steel wool: 000 (an alternative would be 220 grit sand paper) $2
Stain: Minwax Wood Finish in Red Oak 215 $7.50 for 1 Qt.
Polyurethane:Satin finish (You could also use a Polycrylic) $15
Pack of disposable sponge brushes $4
3/4 in. brad nails and 2 1/2 in. finish nails Already had

Tools Used:
Palm sander
Nail gun

Step 1: Distressing For multiple reasons, we opted to start with new pine boards and distress them ourselves. Starting with eight 8 ft. boards, my husband went to town using various methods to stress the boards. Some of which included: pounding the boards with a double-thick bag of nails and screws, creating marks with drill bits, burn marks, making grooves with a chisel and screw driver etc. This process requires a lot of experimentation so don't be afraid of a little trial & error. Our goal was for each board to be unique so there was no right or wrong method. Once you have distressed the boards to your liking, you want to sand down all of the corners and any rough edges, first with the 80 grit and then the 150 grit sand paper.

Step 2: Staining Once you have sanded the boards, you will need to wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove any dust and particles. Also make sure that your work space is cleaned up well. You probably want to test a small area that has been sanded down first to make sure you like the stain. After you are sure about the stain color and you have mixed it well, apply one coat to the boards. Because we wanted some variation to our boards, we wiped the stain after applying for a lighter effect on a few boards, while leaving the stain on the other for a darker look. This is really up to you and how dark you want your finish. Allow the stain at least 24 hours to dry.

Step 3: Durability Once the stain is completely dry you are going to apply the polyurethane coats, allowing at least 24 hours in between for each coat to dry. You will want to apply a minimum of 2 coats for durability. Once each coat is dry and before reapplying, sand down the boards with your steel wool or 220 grit sand paper.

Step 4: Assembly After you have decided the order you want to boards to be assembled, you are ready to attach them to your three support boards. You will want to place two of the support boards so they are a few inches smaller than the width of your bed and place the third board in the center of them. When your stained boards are laid out evenly cross-ways on the support boards, begin nailing each board in place using the shorter brad nails. Once they are all attached, position your headboard in place and attach to the wall with the longer finish nails in the bottom of each support board. We also placed a few at the top of the headboard for additional support, using a small spacer board in the gap to account for the baseboard.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check back soon for the finishing touches on our Master bedroom makeover!

Monday, February 4, 2013

{Before & After} A Functional Landing

Last week concluded a home project which has been in the works for quite some time. Not only was it a necessary fix due to our ever-growing family and therefore, changing needs, but it was somewhat of a safety concern for us with a little one running around.

One of the most appealing qualities of our home is its open and spacious feel, which really lends to extra spaces that can be transformed as our needs for our home change.  In this particular case, what we needed was more storage space for things like my craft/sewing supplies due to my husband now needing a dedicated home office and a little more space for Claire's toys.

Our upstairs landing previously looked like this:

From the upstairs

And from downstairs:

We didn't all-together hate how it looked (with the exception of that awful rolled carpet above!), but it certainly lent itself to a lack of privacy due to the high windows in our family room that come up to the second story. But it also made it near impossible to hide anything (aka:the vacuum you see in the picture above). As for safety, the slats were much too wide for curious little ones.

So we talked through what we could do with Chris' Dad, as he is the family guru for projects such as this. As a Christmas present, he offered his labor and the materials to build what we wanted! Sweet!! For the past two weeks he has been here transforming the above into this!:

We are completely and totally in love with the transformation! And while it certainly added the desired function of more storage, we love how open, yet intimate it made the space feel! We now have the privacy we wanted, a ton of storage space and a bonus, an added space for Claire to play! I didn't capture it very well here, but the far left set of shelves that house my sewing and craft supplies are actually the longest of the three, giving me plenty of needed space:

We moved my desk back into the office and made space for another play area. I especially love this because we now have a designated space for the play kitchen we plan on building for Claire later this year :) And in the future, when our kids are school-aged, we would love to add a built-in desk in the corner.

My father-in-law does superior work (much like my awesome husband!) and really gave us a beautiful gift!
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