Con-TRAY-ry to Popular Belief

Contrary to popular belief, we still have a blog.To prove that, here’s a little something we whipped up as part of our living room redesign.

After over 6 years, we got ourselves a new couch. Along with that new couch, we moved our coffee table, and replaced it with an ottoman. Still following? Well, I hate to admit it, but we like to eat meals in the living room fairly often, and an ottoman just isn’t a sturdy table to eat off of. So, we decided to get¬†ourselves a serving tray for drinks and plates. We didn’t see anything we totally loved, so we made one. We started with a basic wooden tray that we picked up at a craft store and painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I’ve made things with milk paint before, and working with chalk paint is similar.

Tray with Plywood

While preparing this tray I quickly realized that it needed something extra to support the weight of drinks and plates so I reinforced it with two pieces of plywood on the top and bottom.

Scored Plywood

The tray is about 12″ x 12″, so I bought a piece of 24″ x 12″ plywood and scored and split it.

First coat of chalk paint

Chalk Paint is really easy to work with and doesn’t require priming. You could probably get away with 1 coat, but I did two. I painted the sides and handles but left the bottom and top unpainted because that’s where the plywood will be going.

Annie Sloan English YellowWe decided to go with Annie Sloan’s English Yellow, which we figured would provide a nice contrast to the marine color of the ottoman, and the gray palette of the couch.

Tray Partial Paint

I used wood glue to attach the plywood insert and let it sit overnight with some weight on it.

Tray with Weights

While the glue was drying, I painted the insert for the other side.

Clear Wax

 

That right there is clear wax. To seal the chalk paint a regular poly won’t really work, it needs two coats of clear wax.

Tray with Clear WaxThe wax can be applied with a cloth, but also needs to set and then be buffed. I did one coat, buffed it out, let it sit overnight, and then did it all again. This should provide a watertight seal.

DIY Chalk Paint Above

There’s the final product. I think it looks pretty good with our other decor and it fit pretty well on the ottoman.

Final DIY Painted Tray

I’ve seen a lot of info online about how chalk paint is difficult to work with, but I found it really easy to handle. We bought a relatively small amount of it and it went a long way. I’d like to try it on some other projects in the future, it seems like a good alternative to traditional paint and finishes.

This and That

Long time no post! Summer has been dragging us in many different directions; it’s wedding season, time to hit the beach and just so hectic in general. We can’t slow down! However, we have a few mini projects on the horizon around the house..

We have this delightful little corner at the end of our kitchen cabinets, right before the entryway to the house and around the bend is the hallway. The previous owner had a huge fish tank that fit perfectly in this space. Nothing against fish, but I was looking for a much better use of this little space!

I just have a quick after photo, but check out what we’ve done here:

DIY and home improvement style

  1. This shelf holds a bit of history for us (and some knickknacks of course). It was an ugly brown shelf once – in our old house – when our mantra was “down with brown”. We painted it white and then brought it with us to the new place.
  2. The stool was a quick Target purchase. We’re using it as a spot to place our bags, but it could easily double as a seat when entertaining several guests.
  3. The basket also came from Target (love that place)! You can never have too much storage, especially stylish storage!

I think all that’s missing from this little corner now is a few hooks. I could see a few specialty hooks right below the shelf. Even if they go unused, they would at least be artsy and fun to look at. We’ll see what we can find!

We also have a bit of a bedroom re-style going on. Here’s a snap of our old bedroom setup/style for reference:

Our remodeled bedroom

We know we want to re-do our “headboards” (not pictured above, but they are currently just plain black), get some new curtains and a new duvet + pillow cases. We started with the easy part – the new bedding. We loved our old bedding, but it just doesn’t go quite right with our beloved Wavescrest. So, we opted for a lighter-hued subtle print from West Elm:

West Elm BeddingMy thought process here is to keep everything light and airy. My plan for the curtains is similar and my idea for re-doing the headboards is to switch out the black that went with the old style, to something big, bright, bold and floral. I want to keep the patterns and colors within the bedding and curtains subtle so I can really play with the headboards, but I don’t want to go all drab either. We’ve been impulse buying tons of curtains, trying them out and returning them. I have a few on the way – hopefully one will be a winner!

Check back for my next post to see what we ended up with for our bedroom curtains!

Chair, There and Everywhere

Wow, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Like we said, big projects have really slowed down around here, and between the holidays, work, traveling all the time to see family and friends, we just haven’t gotten around to posting. But, you’re in for a treat because all that time off from posting means we’ve got a little extra material to share with you, so there will be another post coming from Andrew pretty soon after this one! Let’s get to it…

Seating has always been a predicament in our tiny house. You may remember when we decided to part ways with our love seat as Part 1 of turning the office into a guest room. Well ever since then, we have to admit, we’ve missed the additional seating. If it’s just me and Andrew, the main couch is perfect. But if we have guests, it could be a little awkward to squeeze them in the middle of the couch between us. We love our friends, but seriously, that’s just a little too close for anyone’s normal comfort level.

First of all, neither of us could stand the fact that our desk chair was on wheels, scraping up our pretty floors that are, in the grand scheme of things, still in their infancy. We had been looking for a better desk chair that wasn’t on wheels, but nothing seemed to really call to us. In a chair, we like comfort, but style as well…we wouldn’t settle for just a cheap folding chair. Most chairs online and even at Ikea were just a little too high in price. I mean, come on, it’s a chair!

Long story short, we noticed some pretty cool chairs pop up at Target that seemed perfect and they were only just about $30. We jumped right on this since we knew something like this would sell out quickly. It’s a good thing we did because they were gone by the following week! Meet our new desk chair:

Desk chair from Fresh Nest Blog

Not only did we get a new desk chair, but we also decided to add a new comfy chair to the living room AND even a new slipper chair in our bedroom! We found these beauties on Wayfair.com.New denim lounge comfy chair from Wayfair Our new slipper chair

Now we have another seat in the living room and this one was SO easy to put together; it took about 5 minutes. This makes room for 6 in the living room right now with the new desk chair, old Ikea chair (now fashioned with some lovely accents), the new comfy chair and the couch.
Maximizing living room space with seating

As for the new slipper chair in our bedroom, that was an offer I just couldn’t refuse. We also got this chair from Wayfair, on sale for just $89. Most slipper chairs we were seeing were well over $100 a pop. I am constantly frustrated with the lack of places to put things in our bedroom. We have my dresser, but the cable box for our TV lives there and that really limits my surface space. I really wanted a chair that would fit in without taking up too much space, so that I could lay out my clothes for the next day or just sit down while I tie my shoes. These were just minor annoyances, but adding the chair has been great. I was worried it would be too cluttered in such a small room, but I think it is just fine and it gets the job done, that’s for sure.Our new slipper chair

We O.D.’d on chairs and we don’t care! Now we have more seats for our guests and nice accents, to boot!