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2014 Year In Review

Well, 2014 is almost over and it looks like I successfully blogged one time…yay, me. The year just flew by so I used Instagram as my mobile blog. If you follow me, (instagram.com/llcsteen), then you saw everything that happened this year…including moving!

For Sale
It was time for a change and we are loving the change we made! I am proud of the projects we completed in the house in Edmond and will recap those for you this week because then we can get to the good stuff of the new house.

I hope you have enjoyed your holiday season and a fantastic 2014. I’m looking forward to an even better 2015!

xoxo,
Laura

 

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Happy 2014! I loved 2013 but am really looking forward to 2014 – my self-proclaimed “Year of Fun!” It’s always great to look back at the previous year and this blog helps keep some of those fun memories for me. Based upon your views and clicks, it is safe to say this year was the year of our master bedroom. We finally finished all of the big projects I wanted to complete and you all loved them with me! Below are the top five posts from 2013.

Bar area before and afterConner’s favorite makeover in our house is this bar area, especially the stained wine cabinet from our 5th anniversary. When we moved in, we knew right away that the desk would have to come out (can you say junk collector?). New floors, new paint, an updated cabinet as well as two new beverage centers really make this spot more us!

DIY Mirrored Nightstand5I love that we finally have grown-up nightstands! Conner’s nightstand was tricky with that stupid floor vent but we worked it out and I love it.

Floor Mirror18Every girl’s dream – a full-length mirror to see her shoes! This DIY floor mirror took some time (mainly for drying, but really for silver-leafing) but it was so worth it for the end result and the space it takes up on this empty wall.

DIY Tufted Headboard19The second most favorite post/project of the year is our tufted headboard, inspired by West Elm and featured on BuzzFeed! (What a thrill and lesson learned…don’t read comments you can’t delete!) Mom and I worked all day on a Sunday to get this over-sized beauty finished and I love it so much.

DIY Mirror Nightstand8And finally, your favorite project and mine…the DIY mirrored nightstand on my side of the bed. I had been dreaming of doing this for two years and am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. It is so easy and not as expensive as I feared!

Thanks for reading in 2013! I will be back soon with new projects. For more in between posts, follow me on Instagram and like the Facebook page!

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When we first moved in to this house, there was a nook next to the kitchen that had a built-in desk. This wasn’t something we were interested in having at all – it screamed junk collector to me. Several months later, we ripped out the desk and put in a kegerator. Fast forward another two years and we added a wine cabinet. After a nice coat of stain on the wine cabinet and a new coat of paint on the walls, our bar area is finally complete and it looks great!

Stained Wine Cabinet - BeforeWay back when, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to stain or paint the wine cabinet. I received a ton of feedback and I loved the advice I heard several times – you can always paint over stain but you can’t stain over paint. So the decision was made – stain it first!


Stained Wine Cabinet1
After one coat of Minwax Provincial stain, this bad boy was ready to go. It was a pretty simple process of staining – brush on, wipe off – and we only did one coat as the stain took really well and we didn’t want it any darker. We also forwent using a wax or poly to seal it. I didn’t think it was necessary for this piece of furniture since most of it would be hidden by walls and the kegerator.

Stained Wine Cabinet2For the top of the cabinet, I painted two coats of chalkboard paint to give the appearance of a tray. (You know I love a good tray!) We debated putting another piece of wood on top (but how could we make it look seamless from the rest of the piece) or putting a piece of mirror on top (but it seemed too glitzy for this area) so a faux tray seemed like the easiest and most practical solution. A jar of corks, a John Derian tray and a typical Italalian cheers – perfect!

Stained Wine Cabinet3This part of our house is finally complete and I love it. I’m glad we stained the cabinet so it blends into the keg and doesn’t try to stand out from it. Our blue bar cart does a great job as a fun bar piece so I’m glad we didn’t spray paint the wine cabinet as well. The lights from our glass cabinet also do a great job of lighting up this space as does our DIY gallery wall with bright white picture frames.

The best part about our bar area? The comments from any male that walks through this house, which definitely includes the guys who measured for new kitchen appliances and lovingly stared at the tap while they worked. Yes, boys. It does hold a full-sized keg and yes, we do use it. A lot.

Bar area before and afterJust three short years ago, our house looked like the picture on the left. New floors, new paint and countless DIY hours make the picture on the right so perfect!

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New HardwareWe’ve been doing more updates around the house and really, the details are what make any project come to life, right? Out with the old (the 80’s) and in with the new (clean-lined, chrome hardware) is what we’re trying to accomplish in this house and we’re doing it room by room. Next week I hope to show you the whole thing but for now, follow along on Instagram and Facebook for more updates as we continue our progress!

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Yesterday we celebrated a fun milestone – three years in our second house! Happy 3 year housiversary to us! And yes, I’m making that word up and I’m okay with it.

Happy 3 Years to the houseWe have come a long way, especially the front yard. The first weekend we lived here we (with the help of our family) ripped out the massive Bradford Pear tree that was sucking water away from our Oak trees and we ripped out the oversize hedges that lined the walkway to the house. I love it so much more now – lots of small rose bushes along the walkway, hostas along the front porch and you can actually see the front door!

For a list of the projects we’ve done so far on the house, check out this post. We have more to go but its fun to look back on where we started!

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It has been almost three years since we moved in to this house and our master bedroom is so close to being finished – finally! I am thrilled with how it is turning out…I love the look and even better, I love the price we are paying for everything. A couple of weeks ago, I made a mirrored nightstand for my side of the bed (Conner’s is in the works!) but the next-to-last project for our room was a headboard that I knew would be a bear. Thanks to my mom who has no fear of projects I throw at her, we finished the ginormous tufted headboard project!

**Some disclaimers before I start the tutorial of the project: my mom and I are not expert upholstery people. We used a tutorial I found on Pinterest and adapted based on the size of our headboard and the minor experience we have tufting a footstool. I try to use pictures and words to explain our process below. If you don’t understand a step or have questions, feel free to ask! I would be happy to give more details if you see a step that is left unclear or left out. It is also VERY handy to have a buddy for this project. The tutorials I read only used one person. That is crazy to me – I highly recommend having a friend/family member help you with this!

West Elm Tufted HeadboardThe Tall Grid Tufted Headboard from West Elm was my inspiration for the project. We have a king-sized bed so I used their measurements for our project. (78″ wide by 56″ tall) She was a beast, a true beauty and also super expensive. It would have been so easy to order this headboard but I wasn’t interested in paying almost $900 (after taxes and shipping) for something we could make for cheaper.

DIY Tufted Headboard16After a long Sunday of working on the very large project and a Thursday night of installing it, this is my version of the headboard! I love it and am so happy with the results. It isn’t perfect like the West Elm version but if it was perfect, where would the fun war stories be about tackling this DIY?

P.S. I saved $705 by doing this on my own. Yup. 705 DOLLARS. Totally worth it!

DIY Tufted HeadboardI started with my supplies: a roll of batting (40% off at Hobby Lobby), 5 yards of white linen fabric (on sale for $7.99/yard at Hancock’s), a button making kit (40% off at Hancock’s), extra buttons (40% off at Hancock’s), upholstery needles (my mom already had on hand), upholstery thread (again, my mom already had on hand), two sheets of peg board that were pieced together to fit the size I needed (from Home Depot – they cut it to size) and two pieces of 3″ foam glued and cut to fit the dimensions I needed (a local foam store, Truman’s, did all of the work for me of gluing/cutting the foam).

**Side note about the fabric: I’m so glad I went with 5 yards of fabric. It seemed like a lot but other than some scraps and edges we cut off, we used most of it! I went with a white linen because the rest of the bedroom has darker colors and I wanted a lighter headboard. Linen has a beautiful texture and I liked that it was lightweight and easy to work with for our project. I do not recommend using patterned fabric for a tufted project. I can’t even imagine the pain of trying to match up the patterns of the board with the patterns of the buttons so go with a solid fabric for a project like this!

DIY Tufted Headboard2I used this tutorial from Little Green Notebook. I read several headboard tutorials but liked this one the best since we wouldn’t have to drill holes into wood. The pegboard was so handy to use since it already has 1″ spaced holes!

The only downside was that the boards weren’t big enough so we had to buy two pieces and have the second piece cut to size. The cutting machines at Home Depot are awesome and if you need something trimmed down, I highly suggest having the skilled employee take care of measuring/cutting for you before you leave the store!

We started off taping the pieces together but later used some upholstery thread to attach the pegboard to the foam in several places. There are numerous ways you could reinforce the flimsy areas of the pegboard so feel free to experiment – we certainly did!

DIY Tufted Headboard3Our first hour was spent laying out the buttons for tufting. Do you want to feel not smart? Count out 6 buttons across, 4 buttons down on a large piece of pegboard and see if you start to go crazy after 10 minutes. This messed with our brains and clearly the pegboard – I’m not sure which symbol we actually ended up using as our “this is the real hole” hole.

DIY Tufted Headboard4Once you lay out the placement of your buttons, lay the foam underneath the pegboard and make marks with a dark pen/marker on where the buttons/holes will go.

The yellow line is where Truman’s glued the two pieces of foam together. Several hours into the project, we realized it would show through the batting and fabric. We covered this up with a little craft paint and a lunch break of drying time. It worked perfectly!

**Side note: Centsational Girl’s tutorial was one I read to prep for this project. She only used 2″ foam. I’m so glad I used 3″ – it really gives more depth for the tufts. I saved a fortune using Truman’s for this project instead of going to Joann’s or Hancock’s to get the foam squares and piecing them together.

DIY Tufted Headboard5I used Conner’s drill to make holes where each of our tufts would go. In the Little Green Notebook tutorial, she cut out pieces of foam with a knife. That would work fine too but this was super fast and fun.

DIY Tufted Headboard6I did like that the tutorial we used suggested making the pegboard longer than the foam so that there was a nice seam of fabric behind the mattress instead of cutting off right at the top of the mattress. I added 10″ so the height of this piece was actually 66″ instead of 56″.

To help support the large pegboard, we used two side tables to hold it up. This came in handy later while tufting. My mom ended up lying underneath the piece and I was on top, each of us guiding the needle as it went on the top and bottom of the foam.

I didn’t use spray foam or any adhesive on these layers before we started tufting. I didn’t think the spray foam would be necessary since the we had the headboard laying down and I wanted it all to be able to move a little as we worked on this project. I’m not a huge fan of spray adhesive so I’m glad we skipped this step and didn’t need it.

DIY Tufted Headboard7Mom started by threading the needle, pushing it through a hole in the pegboard/foam/batting and finally guiding it to the spot I wanted in the fabric. I took the needle from her, helping to pull it through the rest of the way and threading a fabric covered button on to the needle. (A step not shown in this tutorial: button making. It was extremely easy using the kit I got at Hancock’s. It is also pretty cheap, especially when you can get them on sale for 40% off like I did!)

I would make sure the needle was all of the way through the four layers (pegboard, foam, batting and fabric), the button was attached to the thread and then push the needle back down through all four layers to my mom.

DIY Tufted Headboard8She would pull the needle back down and hold gently as I tucked and guided the fabric to fold the way I wanted. I didn’t want a traditional diamond tuft, rather a more modern and clean-lined tuft like the West Elm version.

DIY Tufted Headboard10Once the button was pulled down as far as I wanted, I would holler for her to keep holding so I could duck underneath the makeshift worktable and help her out. (This became the comical part of the process. We were barking out short sentences to each other like we were in some kind of boot camp. “Pull harder. Little more. Okay stop!” “Holding. Hurry!” “I’m coming under!”)

DIY Tufted Headboard9Mom would pull tightly on the string while I grabbed her air compressor nail gun (such a handy tool for this project!) and nail 5-6 staples into the pegboard to hold the button in the place we wanted. This is when you need a project buddy you are comfortable with – we spooned several times, I laid across her stomach at one point – and that buddy needs strong hands. Project buddies with Mom-strength preferred.

DIY Tufted Headboard11Once you finish the rows of tufting (we ended up doing four rows – 6 buttons each), pull the fabric around to the back of the pegboard and staple the heck out of it! Make sure you smooth the fabric as you go and pull it taught before stapling.

**Not shown – since this headboard was so tall, we had to use two strips of fabric. The fourth row of buttons are actually tufted using a new piece of fabric. This was no big deal because the pillows on our bed would cover them up but if this bothers you, adjust your measurements so you can use only one piece of fabric across.

DIY Tufted Headboard12Several days later, my dad came over to help me install the headboard. We used a tool called a french cleat – one side attached to the wall and one side attached to the headboard. They rest in each other and can hold up to 200 pounds – it is a very cool tool for hanging pictures or items like my headboard!

Conner got a laser level/stud finder for Christmas one year and it was perfect for this. We were able to make sure the picture hanger was level while the headboard was lying down, all thanks to the laser. (bonus points if you say laser like Dr. Evil in Austin Powers)

DIY Tufted Headboard13We measured the headboard, measured the wall, measured the headboard and measured the wall again – it was a little nerve-wracking carrying the large headboard back to the bedroom because I was worried it would all get messed up. The fabric wrinkled (its linen, what can you expect?) and some of the folds came undone but it was an absolute perfect fit on top of the headboard and I knew I could iron out the problems with the fabric.

You can see the two rows of fabric on the right side of this picture. My mom did a quick stitch in several places to make sure the two layers wouldn’t come undone and we used some spray glue to attach the bottom piece to the foam. So far – so good!

DIY Tufted Headboard14Once the headboard was in place and centered (the french cleat allows you to slide the picture/headboard back and forth while hanging so you can adjust as needed), I used an iron to clean up the wrinkles and secure some folds that had come undone. This final step helped so much and really polished it up!

DIY Tufted Headboard15Look, even dogs approve of the project!

DIY Tufted Headboard16Not pictured here is a nightstand for Conner. This is a work in progress thanks to the stupid air vent seen on the floor on the left side of the picture. Thanks, builders from the early 80’s, for placing this in the most awkward spot ever.

DIY Tufted Headboard17I love how much this brightens the room and also makes the ceilings seem so much taller. It still shocks me to walk down the hall and see a large white object in the bedroom!

DIY Tufted Headboard18The mirrored nightstand looks more complete now that the headboard is finished. Success!

DIY Tufted Headboard19And one last look at our new, West Elm knock-off, headboard! I am thrilled with the results and while I’m not willing to tackle another headboard of this size, can’t wait to do it again on a much smaller scale.

The West Elm version (with tax and shipping) would have cost me $887. My supplies, including french cleat, cost $182 for a savings of $705. Total score! If you have questions about this (I know several steps weren’t photographed), please email me or leave a comment. I would be happy to help and answer questions!

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Another project is finished in the dining room and that means I’m one step closer to a finished dining room…finally!

Curio Cabinet makeoverWhen my grandma moved, she sold a bunch of furniture. This curio cabinet was one of the pieces she got rid of and I loved it for our dining room!

Curio Cabinet makeover2My grandpa gave this to my grandma for her birthday way back when so it has some meaning to the family. There was already enough dark wood in this room though so I used paint, new knobs and scrapbooking paper to update this piece of furniture to fit our house.

Curio Cabinet makeover3I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for the first time ever and even though I feel like a DIY failure, my review for this paint is this – “Eh.” I’m not in love, over the moon with it as everyone else. It worked well and didn’t have an odor like most paints so there was a plus but it was just like most other paints I’ve used. Not really worth the expense of the paint!

Curio Cabinet makeover4I used three coats of paint to freshen the cabinet up and I love how much lighter it is now. I didn’t prime it or sand it, like most furniture I paint, and the paint still went on smoothly.

Curio Cabinet makeover5The cabinet isn’t that deep so even though I really wanted to use this to keep extra plates, it now houses our china and crystal glasses from our wedding. It works out well!

Curio Cabinet makeover7The knobs are from Hobby Lobby and at the bottom of the two sections, I used navy and white scrapbooking paper to give some color and pattern to this piece. It feels so much more modern now.

Curio Cabinet makeover8Here is another look at the before and after. The added molding to the walls and the lighter color also help make this spot look much better. There are two lights inside the cabinet so at night it makes the dining room look so pretty and gives a nice glow to the room – love!

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