Tag Archives: our house

the balcony

April 23, 2013

outdoors / the apartment

after a looooot of debating with myself, i finally switched out the little patio set i’ve had forever for two big ol’ acapulco chairs!

i bought these chairs about five years ago, and while the set is cute and very french bistro, we sit outside too much to be sitting on iron.

our balcony is kind of tiny, so i wasn’t sure the acapulco chairs would fit, essentially being humungous. so we went outside, taped out the areas, i made this diagram to size and we decided they were too big for the space. so we bought them!

all we use the balcony for is the two of us to sit outside and talk and drink, so now it has totally become our little oasis.

they are so good looking and they are SO comfortable! if you live in southern california, the guy who made them sells them for $120 and delivers!

while we’re outside, here is the herb garden we planted about a month ago. the planter box was a handmade gift from my stepdad, secured to the railing with a ton of zip ties. we made a ton of pesto so the basil looks a little dull now.

the little stool was about $20 in the ikea summer tent and is the perfect tiny table that somehow fits two plates of tacos.

so excited to spend our summer out here. now we just need to find the perfect margarita recipe.

making this : ikea medicine cabinet

April 1, 2013

bathrooms / diy / the apartment

i’m not sure if everyone is desperate need of more storage at all times or if it’s just me forever. but like i’ve said before, we needed more storage. this time in the bathroom! i saw this adorable little medicine cabinet DIYed by door sixteen and thought hey i love first aid too. but we needed tons more storage. like medicine cabinet storage. so we bought a lillången cabinet at ikea.

before assembling the cabinet, we took the door out of the box a month after buying it. with a yard stick, a pencil, and siri my math wizard, we lightly drew out the pattern right onto the cabinet front.

until we finally got the perfectly proportional plus sign.

how did i do such a masterful job taping you ask? well i did damage the door front a little but i used a ruler as a straight edge and exacto-ed the corners of the tape. little scratches aren’t noticeable!

now i bet you’re wondering how’d you screw it up? here’s how! acrylic paint. we tried to prime it but using gesso – it was all we had. it didn’t work and you can’t REALLY tell but the paint job is horribly blotchy. every fix up coat made it worse. so we went back to the original plan that i didn’t mention of just spray painting. we should have done that in the first place and this would have looked perfect. but why would i want it to look perfect? ugh.

ok so here is the TEXTURE from the painting job. i don’t know, maybe the texture like adds a lot of oomph. i’ll go with that. at least my taping job was swell.


a white cabinet
exacto knife
painters tape
spray paint

1. remove the cabinet door from the box or cabinet if it’s already been assembled.

2. find the exact center point of the door by making an X from corner to corner, mark it with a pencil.

3. use the t-square to draw a cross through the center point at a perfect perpendicular angle. measure to make sure the lines are the same length on either side of the center point. make sure you’re happy with the size in relation to the cabinet.

4. use the t-square to draw the “tips” of the cross. make sure they’re all equal and centered.

5. swear and cuss when they’re not. fix if necessary. ask siri if you’re sizing up or down, she’s good at math and decimals. basically, the width of one “tip” should be one third of the entire line.

6. connect the ends, forming the cross. erase overlapping lines.

7. tape off. start with the easy lines, when  you get to the corners, overlap tape and carefully trim off excess with a ruler as your straight edge.

8. cover the rest of the white with a trash bag, spray paint. remove tape. be happy.

we can fit every product and then some in here! we don’t use a ton of products really, but it’s all in here! yay.

making this: a fauxdenza

February 9, 2013

diy / the apartment

we have a wall that is shaped like an L.

and it’s right there when you walk in. like first thing you see.

first anna on door sixteen did it. then the brick house added really good wood to hers. well i wanted one too.

a fauxdenza is ikea kitchen cabinets mounted onto the wall, which then becomes a floating credenza.

see the weird wall? after some planning, the math said we could fit two 36×18″ cabinets with 6″ on either side. i would have liked to fit 10 more, but this still adds a good amount of storage.


2 akurum wall cabinets (36″ x 18″)
4 applad doors
integral hinges
1 akurum suspension rail
a really long piece of wood

anyway – all you do is mount the cabinets onto the wall following ikea directions.

our suspension rail was about 4 inches too long i think, so it had to be sawed down to the correct length.
make sure the cabinets sit level while shimming to correct any non-wall-flushing-ness. as much as you can anyway. our wood covered the imperfections.

after some serious wood drama for a few WEEKS, we went with a really nice piece of walnut from house of hardwood. they had to custom order us a piece that was long and deep enough (13″ sounds easier to find than it is.) we had them cut the three pieces for us at something crazy like 71 29/32″ long and the side pieces 17 3/4″.

i danish oiled the wood and it turned out super rich and preeeetty.

boyfriend then drilled some pilot holes into the inside before attaching six 1″ screws on the sides to keep it in place while i helped tremendously by holding the side pieces in place for the butt joint.

check that thing OUT.

… when we finally finished, we were both like this:

(almost) fifty shades of my entry table

October 4, 2012

before and afters / living rooms

As is our life, we’ve been still trying to figure out what to do about our living room and that damn door. I got really sick of the huge painting being right above our couch so I decided on a new plan… can you tell what that is? I’ll reveal it soon. To go with the new look of the room and to embrace my new love of colors, the entry table needed to pop a little more.

And then my weekend of painting the entry table three times to completion began.

I started with this crazy idea that I would paint it this totally not-me color, a purple-y pink color. (it’s behr raspberry pudding) What the hell was I thinking?! The second I dropped the paintbrush I knew it wasn’t right. And I wasted $15 and two hours for nothing. GUH.

Then I decided on a coral color. (behr wet coral, the same paint I used on the rast interior) Wow. What a shitty idea. But I was determined to live with my mistake. So I brought it into the living room and stared at it for an hour.

The color is really kinda cool, but it just didn’t work. Remember how I said I was painting our office navy? I decided not to. btw – I have pretty much finished our office. It’s also coming soon.

Oh hey look at that white couch! CUTE!

Anyway, we had bought this last color with the intention of painting the office and I thought it was my only option to save money and a 45th trip to home depot. (behr underwater)

Now you would think I would have to sand this thing like crazy. I repainted it the day I bought it so that makes it four layers of paint at least. And of course I tried. And gave up within 5 minutes. If I paint it again, I will definitely have to get rid of some of the layers because it’s really thick, but you just need paint with primer and you can ignore that.

It’s a pretty good color, way more me but still incorporates a little more color into the room. So whatchu think?

OH MY. Is that a fake plant sitting there? I guess I was serious about that huh…

It basically looks real! Basically. Also, that’s a smock paper box. My most exciting purchase with a coupon at the art store. And a photograph of two children in awesome costumes that I don’t know that has been with me in almost every apartment I’ve lived in.



making this: contact papered tile

September 24, 2012

diy / living rooms

OK now let me say one thing – I by no means think this looks awesome. I think it’s an improvement but for the first couple hours after I did this, I was like oh ok that’s hideous. It’s grown on me. You might think it looks hideous. And I guess I’m okay with that.

One of the first things I hated when we moved into our house was the fireplace. I have no before pictures, but I immediately painted the brick white. Like the first morning I woke up here. It was this horrible 80s toned brick. I painted it white and was like OK COOL but that tile below it always haunted me. Now keep in mind, we rent. And I’ve spent way too much money on this rental already so anything I can do to spend no real money and still hope to get our deposit back the better.

So I bought some weird marbled contact paper at Rite Aid for $5.

I covered the tile and cut the edges with an exacto. You can clearly see, it’s by no means perfect. It’s actually really really f*cking sloppy. But I am happy to report a friend was over the other day and didn’t realize it wasn’t real marble until she accidentally touched it and said whoa what is this? (I didn’t tell her about my brave DIY)

The marble pattern is really heavy. At some point I might go over it with a white wash to lighten up the pattern but now that cats live here, those projects seem very unrealistic. (also, don’t mind that really obnoxious wire on the wall… that’s the only way we can watch TV without cable.)

So… is it really ugly?

making this: ikea hacked nightstands

July 12, 2012

bedrooms / diy / home

Literally hours after seeing this ikea hack (and I don’t use the word literally lightly), I forced my boyfriend to go to ikea with me to make these. Our nightstands were in dire need of retirement because of my lack of coaster usage. (Why I did this coaster DIY at the same time we built these new nightstands.)

We bought two of these Antonius laundry stands. I’m pretty sure they were even less than $12.99 because we didn’t buy the bag. Like $7?! I think!? Anyway, putting these things together sucks. If you’re me. It’s really really loud and you hammer and hammer away and they don’t seem to budge. But after they were assembled I had a very excited feeling inside.

I went and got 2 pieces of 2 inch thick wood cut at home depot and wood stain. I went by the ikea website measurements. THOSE ARE WRONG. Measure them yourself and THEN get the wood cut so you don’t have to go back and pay for double the amount of wood. UGH. My bad. Anyway, I stained the wood and let it dry.

I promptly painted the for no reason silver edges white. Why are those silver? Very odd. Then we put so so much glue on the top (Gideon did it because I’m too clumsy).

Drop some weights (and books) on top and let it dry for a day. Yes. I have both the Sex and the City book and the Sex and the City Movie book. The movie book was a mistake impulse buy.

Yes. They’re super modern. Yes, they have no drawers. Yes, they are made from cheap ikea laundry stands so obviously they’re not the most stable. When I showed my mom she said “oh. they’re okay.” But I don’t care I LOVE THEM!

before and after: bedroom sconces

July 11, 2012

bedrooms / before and afters

Yet another thing we bought for our house that I haven’t been super happy with was the sconces for our bedroom. The reason was the shades that they came with, which I could never find the right size to replace them with. Buying lamp shades online seems way too confusing.

Ugly before? As hipster as it is, I really like exposed edison bulbs, so decided to just buy the bulbs and remove the shade. I’m so so happy with them now. And because the wattage on them looks much darker than of a normal light bulb, our room has become a dark romantic dungeon. OOooooooo!


fixing up flea market art

June 28, 2012


When I moved in with Gideon, this was pretty much the only art he owned (besides his own). I was like yeah, ok that’s kinda cool. It’s all washed out and – vintagey.

But after a year of it on our bedroom dresser plus our lack of color in the room, I started asking him if we could color it up a little.

He covered the thing in matte medium. Then he slowly added washed out blue.

Then he went to bed and I went BLUE CA-RAZY on it. I don’t think he was as happy with the results but look how vibrant it is now! I am noticing now we covered the mountain horizon lines. I promise, I didn’t see those in person.

So did we mess it up or what?