Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Retro Summer Ideas!

Today I am welcoming Ty Leisey with a Guest Post.  Thank you Ty!
Ideas for a Retro Summer

As the summer months roll in and the temperature starts to climb, kids and adults alike rush to finally spend time outdoors. But why leave your wonderfully vintage style behind? Instead of choosing between spending time in your perfectly designed kitchen or spending time outdoors with your family, bring your style, family, and food outside with these retro exterior design ideas.

Update Your Furniture:

Spending time outside can be much more comfortable with the addition of outdoor furniture, and you already know how much your furniture says about your style. Whether you already have outdoor furniture or if you’re looking to add a seating space in your yard, there are ways to create a cohesive style for your home and comfortable outdoor living. Choose an option based on your existing space / furniture, your outdoor living needs, your budget, and the amount of time you want to spend creating the look you want.
  • Paint existing furniture: if you already have furniture you love or you don’t quite have the budget to replace your furniture, consider painting your existing furniture to better match your style. Try colors like a bright aqua, a vibrant green, or even an eye-catching red. Just adding color can make a huge difference and help your keep that flow from inside to outside.
  • Find vintage furniture: Yard sales and flea markets are great places to find retro style outdoor furniture for much cheaper than vintage stores or online stores. Check your local newspaper for yard sale listings and flea market advertisements - it may take a little extra time and legwork to find the perfect piece but it may end up being better than what you thought you wanted (likely at a better price, too).
  • Buy new furniture: If you can’t seem to find anything in the local market or if you need something now and can’t afford to wait, there are tons of websites and stores with online ordering that sell vintage and retro style furniture. With lots of options for colors and types of pieces available, you can create the perfect outdoor living space to compliment your indoor living space.

Redesign Your Lighting:

It stays lighter much later in the summer but that doesn’t change your need for outdoor lighting for late evening dinner parties! Maybe your yard has lighting options that are boring (or don’t match your newly acquired furniture!), or maybe you’ve gone without extra lighting up to this point. Either way, you can pretty easily find retro style light fixtures that are both functional and stylish. Be sure to think about where you need the most light, what options will work with your exterior, and what particular styles you should be looking for. Though not impossible, it’s much easier to find permanent outdoor lighting fixtures online or in-store than it is to find them in local markets, and they’re more likely to be ready to install right away. An upgrade can be as easy as fitting a lamp over a previously existing fixture or as time-intensive as installing a new lamp post. Remember to be realistic but don’t let that limit your imagination!

Create a Vintage Picnic Package:

The best part about redesigning your outdoor living space? Enjoying it by spending time outside! Keep it classy by putting together your own picnic package, starting with a vintage picnic basket. You can set up your picnics at any furniture you may have outdoors, at a nice picnic table in the backyard (or at least nearby), or spread out over a beautiful retro picnic blanket. Some stores will have sets of outdoor plates, flatware, and serving utensils for a classy setup, but it’s just as traditional to go the paper plate route and ensure quick cleanup that everyone can help with. A beautiful picnic basket makes for a stellar display when not in use that can double as storage for picnic supplies. Plus, keeping the basket and supplies in the same place means all you have to do is watch for a sunny day and wait for the pie to come out of the oven!

Thanks for your visit!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Transferring a Graphic onto Wood-Turning a $6 Investment into a Cute Piece

Since I started working a few years ago, my crafting has been limited, but recently I decided to use some new graphics (purchased on Etsy for $1) and transfer them onto a little dresser.
I started with this $5 garage sale find.  Sorry, I thought I took a good 'before' picture, but didn't...  But, you can probably figure that the drawers looked just like the rest of the piece.
We sanded down the entire piece.
I  took a mirror image of a laser copy (if you only have an ink jet printer, just take it to Kinko's or a similar place and get a copy made--they use laser copiers).  I printed off three copies-one for each drawer.


 I taped the graphic on each of the drawers.  I barely dabbed Citra-Solv on the paper.  (I found Citra-Solv at Whole Foods)  If you put too much Citra-Solv on, it'll smear.  I rubbed a piece of plastic very carefully over the graphic, but again, I tried not to smear it. 



I carefully lifted off the paper and let each drawer dry.
I put MinWax Pre-stain over the entire piece, as pine tends to get blochy if you don't.  After that dried, I applied a MinWax Natural Stain.

The original drawer pulls were wood.  I worked and worked to sand them down, but they stained up too dark.  I took some brass pulls and painted them black.
I've moved it in a couple of different places to see where I'm going to use it.  I think it turned out pretty cute! 
Thanks so much for your visit!

I am linking to the following parties:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Friday, May 29, 2015

A New Entrance to the Backyard

We have recently redone both sides of the backyard.  Last week I showed the arbor we put in HERE.  This project is where we added a path, DIY curbing and a new planter.  Now we have the entrance to the backyard that we always wanted!
Here it is in March. 

After we added the arbor, we tore out about a third of the grass.

I wanted to keep the grass here so I could get the mower to the backyard.  Well, setting pavers is a lot of work.  Setting pavers in cutouts of grass is a TON of work!!  My back and hips are just now getting back to feeling normal...

We added the forms to make our own curbing.  I called around and the minimum charge for curbing was $275.  Since we only needed 20 feet, we decided it wouldn't be worth almost $15 a foot to have someone come out.  Instead, we bought boards and concrete mix and did it ourselves for $24.  And I think it looks just like the professional curbing!

We left the forms on for 24 hours.

We then added a couple of new sprinklers to the planter.


And lots of flowers--Rose of Sharon, Peony (already blooming!), Cosmos, Daisies, Lamb's Ear, etc. and of course a birdhouse!
It shouldn't take too long for the grass seed to fill in the empty spaces. 
Thanks for your visit!


I am linking to the following parties:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A New Arbor for the Backyard

I've been wanting to work on the entrance into our backyard for a few years now.  Recently, we redid the west side of the backyard. HERE.   Now it's time to do the east side.

We started with this.  Of course this was several weeks ago, so everything was still looking drab during the winter...

We dug up an area and decided to use the same pavers that we used for the other side of the backyard.  Of course we have our trusty new helper, Henry! 

We have really bad winds at times here, so we needed to make sure the arbor would stay put.  These 8" tubes were the smallest that Home Depot had.  We thought about using 4" pipe, but it was significantly more expensive.  One 4 foot tube did the trick for the four footings.

We mixed two bags of concrete mix in the wheelbarrow and filled the tubes.  (then it rained for 6 days!)

After a week, we drilled holes in the footings and put concrete anchors in.  The arbor was then attached to those.

Once again, our trusty helper...  :)

We used bags of paver sand for the base and carefully made sure every paver was level itself, then level with all of the pavers next to it. 


We'll let the sand settle in (more rain coming this week!), then I'll add soil and plant ground cover between the pavers.  That will soften the look.
I've added a clematis on the left and some cosmos on the right.  We'll see about hanging some baskets until the clematis takes off to add some color.

We're so happy with the entrance now!
Thank you for your visit!

I am linking to the following parties:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Shady Spots for Summer

It gets really hot here in the summer.  It's so nice to have a shady spot to sit in the heat of the day.  Recently I was on Hometalk and found these inspiring spots to relax and stay cool.  Check out my Hometalk clipboard HERE.
Of course, my favorite is the one in my own backyard.  :)

Thank you for your visit!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Guest Post--Bathroom Updates

Today I am welcoming Wilbert Bail with a guest post on bathrooms.  Thanks Wilbert!

The Adventurous Bathroom

The bathroom is without a doubt one of the best rooms in the house to spend some quality time. From taking a relaxing bath to pampering ourselves, it is the place where we can escape our everyday stresses. This is why we design our bathrooms to be not only functional but also to have an aesthetic which we can enjoy. When covering our walls and floors, we often adventure ourselves in either two directions: the modern looks vs the traditional ones.

The Modern Bathroom

Modern bathrooms are mainly designed with the idea of hygiene, often being tiled with simple colours so that dirt can be made visible and easy to clean. This approach not only looks clean, it also emphasizes on the idea of luxury and modernity. This makes modern bathrooms looking great, displaying shiny mono-coloured surfaces like a sports car would. However, not everyone enjoys this look, and some of us feel compelled towards something with more personality and less shine.

The Traditional Bathroom.

Most of us who enjoy old traditional bathrooms do so because those have more charm and character than their modern counterparts. Rather than using simple coloured tiles, older bathrooms have tiles which display patterns which get repeated over the spreading of multiple tiles. Those beautiful and sometimes intricate patterns add more originality to the room as they are very eye-catching. When looking around the room, our eyes glance at those patterns to make sure they are repeated perfectly, jumping from one tile to the other. And no matter how often we use the bathroom, we always take the time to stare at those patterns because it is something our eyes and brain enjoy doing.

Being adventurous

There is nothing wrong with getting what we want. Modern and luxurious looking bathrooms will often project the idea that we are financially well-off and as such their aesthetics will evolve around status. Whilst there are merits to this approach, it is not the most original way to do things. Buying the latest luxury item is an easy thing to do when you can afford it but taking the time to find an aesthetic which corresponds to certain traits of your personality takes time and reflection. So when it comes down to researching, being adventurous and hardworking will really pay off.

Choosing the ideal floor and wall coverings

Like many life choices, choosing the right aesthetics for our bathroom is all about taking the time to look at as many different options as possible. The best way is to look at different bathrooms displayed in catalogues, websites, DIY showrooms and even friend’s houses. Places such as the ABL Tile Centre provide a great choice of bathroom floor and wall coverings, and it is especially worth checking online to see the Artisan range at ABL. Doing so, we realise that there are many different appealing floor and wall coverings to choose from, covering all colours, patterns and textures. After all, why not be adventurous and find something we really want, rather than doing what everyone else does?


Thank you for your visit!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Industrial Pipe and Mahogany Table

My husband is an incredible woodworker.  Recently, he decided to build a table base out of plumbing pipes rather than wood.  (yes, I was a bit shocked!)  :) 
Lots of pipe and connectors from Home Depot.
He painted everything black. 
He made the top out of mahogany.  It is such a beautiful wood!

It really came out nice!

Thank you for your visit!

I am linking to the following parties:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home