Friday, July 27, 2012

Yet Another DIY Ikea Built In

The VERY first thing we purchased and installed when we moved into our house was our media storage/shelves from Ikea. And when I say we, I mean my in-laws, because it was our housewarming gift (thanks guys!) and because my father-in-law installed it (merci Poppa Terr!). 

I work for a home builder and so I know how much these things cost when done by a profesional millworker. Something like this would be around $5000. Ay chihuahua! Our version cost just over $500.

I've had lots of questions about it from friends and readers so thought I'd give a bit of a run down.

Firstly, there are loads of media units at Ikea that are already put together (no, not assembled because what would Ikea be without the annoying little bubble man on the one page instructional showing you how to put together your newly acquired furniture?).

But, there are sets that are essentially "pre-bundled", and then there are just random separate pieces that you can buy and use to make your own wall unit.

Luckily, Ikea has a fantastic Besta planner that allows you to build your wall unit online and add doors, frames etc and prices it all for you. This was really helpful for us when trying to decide between buying a bundle or buying all the pieces separately. At the end of the day, I was so happy we went with the Besta pieces and were able to make it work with our space.

My father-in-law (with help from hubby's bff) built a platform for the 2 base pieces to sit on, and then the shallower bookcases of the same product line were used to frame the TV. Everything is secured to the wall for extra stability!

I wanted to de-Ikea-fy it, so I grabbed my tub o'spackle and filled the  little holes on the inside of the cabinet once I had placed the shelves where I wanted them. I didn't sand or paint, I just made sure to fill the holes very flush and then waited to see what they looked like when dry. And amen, it worked! Hubby had no faith in me at all, but I'm glad I did it.

It is FAR from finished (which is sad because we've had it for 2 1/2 years) but I do have some great plans to make it look even more custom. I plan to use some crown moulding along the top so that there is no gap (gap is shown with phtoshopped trim in first pic), and perhaps some trim on the side to help it look more "built in".

I am DYING for some intricate hardware a la chinese chests/dressers but haven't found any I like for little moolah. Any resources you can recommend?

Lastly, I have some FABULOUS stacked quartz tile that I would love to install to the back of the cabinets and behind the TV. I have been waiting to pull the trigger because a part of me doesn't want to waste my beautiful tile in this home because a) it would be great to have it for our eventual future fixer upper, whenever that may come (hoarder?) and b) it will certainly be a bit tricky if we DIY, or costly if we hire a pro, and I'm worried that doing it won't bring much if anything to our property value since we're in a townhouse.

What do you think? Should I just bite the bullet and do it? Or do something less permanent and costly and line the back with fabric or wallpaper and/or paint? Let me know your thoughts!



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Look what I found at The Dollar Store (well, actually on eBay) | Part Three

Now that our British family is back in Londontown, and my in-laws have left for back home, I am hoping to get back to regular programming! Today I had an awesome makeover (in my head) to show you, until it all went south. My cherry stained wine rack that I tried to spray paint white turned orangey pink. Ooopsies. Looks like I'll have to do things the proper way and sand and prime and all that jazz. Don't hold your breath for that post.

To fill the space that should have been a wine nook post of my kitchen, I decided to share some of my CHEAPO finds! Who doesn't love a good deal?

Instead of my occasional Dollar Store round up (Part One and Part Two here), I wanted to share with you some amazing buys that you ALL have access to, no matter where in the world you are, and that magical place is known as EBAY!

I love eBay for loads of reasons, but the main one is that you can find rare, very expensive designer items, at the same time as cheap, mass produced accessories (among a billion other things).

I like to mix and match my accessories, so I am totally not against wearing my Michael Kors watch with a $2 bracelet. Actually, I encourage it. Just like someone donning too many brand logos in one outfit, decking yourself in pricey accessories can sometimes look like you're trying too hard (or perhaps I'm just envious of those who can afford a slew of pricey accessories?).

Anyways, whether you're a real fashionista, or a faux one like me, you might appreciate some of these finds I've had my eye on or snagged recently.

First up, those gorgeous retro shades can be found on pretty much every celebrity face out there. I have no clue who the original designer is, but I do know I really love them. For $5.99 with free shipping, how can you go wrong?

That watch? Ya, the one photographed isn't the actual eBay watch, but close enough. I wanted a nice crisp photo so my good friend Google Images gave me that one. Anyways, you can get a stunning Ceramic Watch that looks like this for less than two skinny vanilla lattes. That's pretty rad. I bought the silicone version for $3.50 seen here (including shipping, woot woot), but plan on ordering this ceramic one to add to my watch collection! I've been very impressed with the quality for the price so far.

OMG. These studs. Are. Amazing. I had very low expectations for $2.99, and they blew me away. They are so sparkly and go with absolutely everything. I used to wear pearl studs everyday (I guess I might as well divulge that I buy them at the ABC store for $3.99- yes real fresh water pearl studs!), but now that I've got these I don't even know where my pearls are. I even choose these over my Tiffany silver ball earrings. Love la la love. I just got a pair in gold which are a tad more bronzey than gold, but I still really like them. If you do order just one pair, make sure you get the clear crystal ones because they are a NECESSITY in life. Ya I said that.

If you're looking for some even better steals, take a peek at these!

Loving the studded look? Use this photo as your inspiration and get these beauties for just $1.49  including shipping (how DO they do that? I don't think I could mail a letter to China for that let alone a package!). Redic.

Are they awesome quality? Probably not, but they are sure to last you about as long as the studded trend lasts.

This owl necklace is just plain adorable and whimsical, especially for under $3. I don't have one, but did order this hot air balloon necklace. It was about $2 a few months ago, but the seller doesn't have them in stock anymore.

It's really fun to wear and I've had loads of people ask where it was from.

Lastly, this "love" ring is so sweet. For $1.75, it's worth stocking up and using them as gifts for your girlfriends for those times when they need a little pick me up. These Love Studs are pretty adorable too ;)

Any good cheapo finds on the internet that you've discovered recently?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Pinterest Challenge: Backyard on a Budget Part II - Spray Painted Chairs

I owe much thanks to the Pinterest Challenge. Last summer I posted this blog post about my pantry makeover which lead to more inspiration and more pantry makeover fun with this blog post which was featured on one of my favourite blogs which also lead to the successful launch of my etsy shop as well as prompted me to actually make a go at this blogging thing a little more regularly. So thank you Pinterest and the Pinterest Challenge! And of course thanks YHL and friends for hosting once again!

This year I didn't do something pantry-esque, but instead decided to something totally different and outside the labels box. If you've read my Backyard on Budget Part 1 post you'll know that I like things to look good, but I don't like to spend a lot of money getting there. That's where the inspiration for this makeover came from.

I had a pair of resin wicker (is that what they're called?) outdoor chairs that my mom gave me that have been sitting outside awkwardly and unused. I didn't really have a place for them and the brown patio furniture has me bored these days. I'm definitely more of a white and grey kinda girl.

Lucky me when I found this pin on Pinterest! (Original post found here on Our Pinteresting Family).

So bye bye brown, hello grey! Since I didn't pay for these, and they are a dime a dozen, I didn't mind testing out a little spray paint makeover on them.

Of course I didn't snap a before photo, but I'm sure you get the picture. Brown. Standard. Nothing to write home about. Desperately calling out to be given some love.

Four to five light coats of Krylon Grey spray paint later, I had these beautiful babies.

Modern. Clean. Just like me! You can see our other patio furniture in the background here. One day I will get my hands on those babies, but will probably require a lot more than the 2 cans of spray paint I used for these.

We have an awkward wrap around patio that doesn't really get used for much, so I was determined to create a little bistro area. I had this old ikea table in the garage that was given to me by a friend when she no longer needed it, so I figured, hey, why not? It is not "outdoor" so we will need to replace the melamine top someday soon, but for a practically free outdoor set, I think it works for now!

Thanks for stopping by and I can't wait to check out all of the other Pinterest Challenge posts!



Friday, July 6, 2012

A week for the English

I have been absent from the blog lately, and I have this to blame:

 (Not our actual dog, but he looks like this. Actual photos to come once I get my life together.)

We just welcomed a second bundle of fur into our lives. A 12 week old English Cream longhaired dachshund named Max. He came to us as Marley, then spent about a day as Theodore (Teddy), half a day as Sullivan (Sully) and now is officially Max. Hubby named him, and that's A-okay with me, because when it's baby time, I get the naming rights!

He is the sweetest little thing and we absolutely adore him. I could cuddle with his all day long. Sadie and him are getting along just great! Perhaps having each other to play with will give me more time to project and blog instead of entertaining Sadie all day? Wow I sound like a terrible dog mom, hey? But it's the truth. 

On another English note, my sister-in-law and her fiance arrive tomorrow from London for a stay. My in-laws arrived last night, and we have a big pool party/BBQ at our clubhouse tomorrow night and loads of other events. So although I'm not consistent anyways, you won't see too much of me around here, until maybe Tuesday. BUT I hope to have something fun next week. I would really like to take part in the Pinterest Summer Challenge, so we'll see what I can manage between hosting guests and entertaining!

Have a great weekend!

Cheers :)