Sunday, February 19, 2012

DIY Wall of Frames & Roman Bamboo Shades

Some of you may be thinking "Wall of Frames???? What ever does she mean?" As none of you know, I have a massive amount of wall space that you can see up my stairs leading to my second floor. The railing on the stairs are industrial with steel railing that you can see through (you'll understand what I mean when you see the finished product picture in this post)... That being said, I needed an idea that would cover A LOT of wall space.

I started searching around on Pinterest and quickly fell in love with the Empty Wall of Frames idea. Yeah, yeah, it may sound a little weird having a wall full of empty frames, but it is PRECIOUS and modern, yet chic. Here are some links of some examples that sparked my creativity:
My Pinterest -
HGTV Example
There are even Etsy Shops that will sell sets to you!

I knew I needed to get my hands on as many frames as possible. I went through my old college stuff, asked my mom for some frames and of course went to the THRIFT STORE. The thrift store is your friend when it comes to projects such as this... I made TWO seperate trips to the Thrift Store to get what totaled to be 25 frames. I tried to get as many versatile pieces as possible. Square, round,rectangular, octagan,small, big, thick, thin... whatever!... the more versatile, the better!

After my first trip to the Thrift Store, I went out and bought two cans of high-gloss spray paint and a tarp to put down outside. I thought I would quickly conquer this project by using spray paint. EPIC FAIL. I will repeat... FAIL!!!!!!! Spray paint is not very forgiving and as hard as I tried it did not spray on evenly and when I needed to get in the edges and nooks of the frames it would get extremely messy.

You can get a pretty good look at how uneven the spray paint took to the frames. After buying the tarp and spray paint cans and learning that hard lesson, it led me to my TIPS AND TRICKS #7: USE REAL PAINT when re-painting frames. :) I went to my local Home Depot and bought Behr Interior/Exterior Hi-Gloss Enamel straight off the shelf. I wanted a white, glossy look to look Shabby Chic and to have a "pop" off of my grey walls without looking too dramatic.
TIPS AND TRICKS #8: This project, depending upon how many frames you use, takes multiple hours. Paint a few frames at a time, let dry overnight and paint on a second coat. Trust me, the extra coat is worth it and if you try to knock out the frames all at once, you will want to pull your hair out!

I put a drop cloth on my dining room table and it took me an entire week to get all 25 frames painted with two coats. Yes, it took forever and yes, I wanted to give up, but in the end it was ALL WORTH IT!!!!!!!

After they were all painted, I measured how long my railing was and then used my floor space to use as a "mock wall space" to get the frames organized how I wanted them on the wall. This is a MUST. Spacing is important with frames... not getting them symmetrical.  This was a hard concept for me to grasp while hanging these, as I like all of my ducks in a row and in a perfect row! :) A-Symmetrical is very modern, which I try to embrace and I think I did a good job of this with the frames.
I started from the bottom of the stairs and worked my way up. I used basic nails. I would take a few frames from the floor and position them on the wall as to how I thought I would like them. This took a lot of courage to just "wing-it" but it was definitely helpful to have another set of eyes AND hands with me. I could not have accomplished this task without my mom, so be sure to have someone help you with this! TIPS AND TRICKS #9: Use a leveler when hanging frames, especially on a slanted incline. What you think it straight is NOT. Trust me.

After moving frames here and there and some re-organizing, I was happy with my new look!

Message me if you have any questions about this! I could go on and on about how I did this. All in all, it looks FABULOUS and I spent less than $60 on the project.

Now, on to the less exciting things... BUT money saving things! As many of you know, buying shades/curtains/blinds (and I won't even mention plantation shutters) can be VERY expensive. One day I hope I can afford plantation shutters as I think they are beautiful, but with this being my first home purchase, I wasn't ready for that kind of expense on top of everything else. While visiting the model home at my community, I noticed they used Bamboo, Roman shades. I FELL IN LOVE! They are so cute. Here are a few links to what they look like, just in case you don't know what I'm referring to!
Home Depot
Linens N' Things
Decor Pad

I have a 2 Bedroom townhome and am in the middle of my building, so I got lucky with only having 9 windows. STILL this is expensive when considering blinds. I searched all stores around town and finally came across Mirada, Home View brand at Home Depot.

Note: These say they are for "outside use." I was skeptical at first thinking they could be thinner than the indoor kind. But they were CHEAPER and THICKER than the inside. Maybe it was a fluke, but whatever the case, this particular brand was what I went with. After getting them home, I figured I should line these with some type of fabric to help block sunlight and add even more privacy. I went to my local Hobby Lobby and got a thin fabric to line these with. I unrolled each shade, measured, cut and hot glued them to the back of the shades. It DID NOT effect the shade's ability to roll up. Be sure to glue on the outside of the line on the inside of the shade where the pull is. AKA - Don't glue where you see string.

Very easy and a great money saver for those of us that can't quite afford those plantation shutters yet. :)

It makes me happy to share all of my DIY projects and ideas with my readers. I've been getting back such great responses. I have many more projects to share and I can't wait to start ROOM REVEALS! Until my next post...


Friday, February 10, 2012

Refinished Bedside Tables & DIY Valentines Wreath

I'm really excited to share this blog post with everyone, as there are TWO projects I will enlighten you on. :)

First, are my two bedsides tables. I wanted to find a pair (that matched, obviously) and were relatively inexpensive. As you know, I love Home Goods. Once again, my mom saved the day when she was out browsing and ran in to these bedside tables.

As you can see, they were NOT CUTE but I fell in love with the shape and the price $100 each, so I took the plunge. After getting them home, it was quite the ordeal for me to decide on a color to refinish them. I finally decided on "Grey Cashmere" by Benjamin Moore. I stole this paint color from my Grandmother... I'm so fortunate! I come from a family full of stylin' ladies. :) Grey Cashmere is used on my ceilings in my house in my 1/2 bath, and bedrooms and their respective bathrooms. It is kind of a modern feel with a traditional, classy approach as well. I could not be happier with that color choice.

After painting the tables, I decided I DEFINITELY needed a pop of color for the knobs. For those of you that don't know, Anthropologie has the world's coolest knobs. AND the most expensive... Therefore, you must wait until they go on sale. You may be thinking, "Anthropologie? Yeah Right!" But trust me, they do go on sale and pretty frequently to top it off. They are definitely worth the wait. After spending about 2 hours in their knob section I narrowed it down to these choices:
***Before scrolling to the completed pictures, try to guess which knob I chose!

After much deliberation I chose...
The yellow rose knobs!!!!They are PRECIOUS and add so much character to them. The coolest part about the Grey Cashmere paint is that it has the appearance of many colors... Grey, light blue, even the slightest greenish tinge. I was SO happy with my finds and it was beyond easy to refinish these. TIPS AND TRICKS #5: When refinishing furniture, get a VERY fine sand paper and sand as much as you can. Wash the piece of furniture off a with a wet rag and get to painting! I used Benjamin Moore outdoor slight glossy finish. It's stronger and is much more forgiving with lines/imperfections when you paint. AKA - it dries quickly and smoothly.

Here are both of them together! I can't wait for you to see them in my master bedroom ROOM REVEAL post. They look stunning next to my DIY door as a headboard. (See the headboard DIY post here.)

Both side tables, 6 knobs and Benjamin Moore paint for less than $250. The best part is if I ever want to change them, it will be super easy AND cheap! I have a good feeling I will keep these tables for a long time. Maybe even use them in a nursery one of these days... how cute would that be?!

Now, on to the DIY Valentine's Wreath. Before I even get to babbling about this project, I have to give FULL CREDIT to my mother, aka Gigi. (This is what my lil nugget, the mini Aussie, Lulu, calls Mom). She found this project on Pinterest and surprised me one afternoon when she came to visit me at my house. She even took the time to take pictures along the way so I could easily share with my readers.

Gigi got the red felt fabric at Hobby Lobby and used a 40% off coupon. Here is a link to my previous post that shows you how to get the 40% off coupon. She got the heart styrofoam shape at Jo-Anns fabrics. They frequently have sales as well, along with 40% off coupons that you can locate here. Gigi said that Jo-Anns was the only place in my town that she could find the heart form... You can also order these online at Jo-Anns! Total price she spent on materials was less than $10. She had some extra burlap material in her craft box, so she used that to hang it on my door.

TIPS AND TRICKS #6:  If you visit other coupon websites such as you can find coupons for just about ANY store. They have online and printable coupons. This site is AWESOME!

Gigi used a 3" diameter cup to cut circles (she used a tervis tumbler, as you can see in the pic) for the fabric. She cut 20 circles at a time until the wreath was full. For specific instructions on how to make this precious wreath go to this site: The Idea Room. This is the site where Gigi found her instructions, so this is a good spot to get step-by-step info. :)

Here is the finished product! I've received SO many compliments from my neighbors and it looks fabulous on my door.

I hope you enjoyed this post... I told you I would get back to sharing all of my projects! Next post will be VERY exciting. 2 DIY wall decor projects and a quick money saving tip on my roman, bamboo shades I purchased for A GREAT DEAL.

Love My Loft,

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm Baaaaacccckkkkkk!!!!!

I CANNOT believe that it's been almost three months since I've given y'all an update on my house. I don't want my followers to think that I'm not a "consistent blogger" so I will start this post with a statement that I promise to keep y'all in the loop and post many new and exciting DIY projects and beginning soon, ROOM REVEALS. I am beyond excited to share my house with everyone and all the projects and great finds that I have put in it.

Being a homeowner is crazy. A lot of my priorities have changed... Things such as, "OMG these $75 pair of heels would like aaaaaamazing on my feet, but yeah I've got a mortgage to cover so I better not." It was a hard pill to swallow at first, but I'm beginning to adjust just fine. :)

I officially moved in to my house in early December and since then it has been crazy-busy! Between having my family over for the holidays and being stretched very thin at work, blogging has taken the back seat. But fear not my friends, I am back in full action and ready to blog away!!!

Here is a picture that I snapped the day I got the keys to my house. It was such an exciting day!

One of the things that I was most looking forward to once I moved in was decorating for Christmas...duh! I know this is a little late, but I still want to share with y'all. Keep this good info in your back pocket for next year! :)

If you don't already know this, Hobby Lobby is one of the best stores ever. Not only are they reasonably priced, but they CONSTANTLY have sales. I'm talking 50% off sales... on Christmas Items... during Christmas Season. It doesn't get much better than that. TIPS AND TRICKS #4: You can visit HL's website and get an additional 40% one regular item coupon. You can always use one of these because, let's face it, sometimes the item we want is not on sale. *Be sure to watch the expiration on these coupons. They expire weekly and HL employees are not lenient on expiration dates.

I patiently waited for HL to get stocked with their Christmas decor. About mid-October I was in Christmas Heaven!!! Christmas is my favorite season and I was so excited to shop at HL and get some MUCH NEEDED decorations for my loft. First day I walked in there, lo and behold, they are having a 50% off Christmas sale. For those of you that don't know, I'm a pretty organized individual (unless you look in my closet) and the way HL has their Christmas tree ornaments organized is absolutely PERFECT... color coordinated! After much deliberation with my crafty Mom, we decided on a white and silver themed tree. This theme was inspired by all the mercury glass craze. I hit up that section of ornaments and bought at least one of just about every ornament HL had that was white and silver. Not only are they reasonably priced and 50% off, they are beautiful! I got all of these decorations for less than $100! 

Since I did not get to move in to my house until early December, I didn't think to get Christmas lights for my tree until then. BIG MISTAKE... BIG. I called and searched over 15 stores in my area and the 100 count, white mini lights were sold. out. everywhere. I thought I was going to have a melt down because I  had only bought about 5 string sets and wasn't ready to buy the expensive LED lights. After coming to terms with the fact that my tree would only have about 500 lights on them (I like 1,000+ on my tree. The brighter the better), my mom's co-worker said she had some extra! A special thank you to Mary for saving the day! Decorating my tree was so much fun. I was blessed to have my Mom, Dad and Brooklynn there with me to enjoy the special moment. I bought a real tree and within 30 minutes of it being up, it fell over. Long story short, the tree stand was not strong enough for my 9 foot tree and I should have listened to my dad when he kept saying "Casey, the tree looks like it's leaning... it's going to fall." Yes, a few ornaments broke but thank goodness no one was hurt and when the tree was finally up and decorated, it was worth it! 
I also want to give a quick shout-out to Pinterest. I found this really cute subway art for Christmas, sent it to Costco to get printed and got a 1/2 off frame at HL all for less than $20. I hung it in my kitchen for decoration and got so many compliments!
Look forward to my next post because it will be TWO DIY Projects. One for Valentines Day (full credit will go to my mom on this one) and the other about my oh so cute bedside tables that I refinished! And I promise it won't be three months until I post about it. :)