Updating our 90's niche

We have been working on putting our stamp on the Lake House we bought last fall.   The house has soaring ceilings and an open floor plan that we love. Although the house was built is 2004 ish the actual plans were designed sometime during the 90's.  The original owners loved the floor plan so much that they built an identical house when they moved from Florida!?!?!  Talk about some house love.  One of the things driving me crazy was a wall niche in the Den.  It's a tiny space to begin with and the layout is such that the sofa has to sit inside this bad boy niche.  Here is a photo of what it looked like before we bought it.

The niche is actually wallpapered in that very popular gold textured paper found everywhere during the 90's.

The niche is actually wallpapered in that very popular gold textured paper found everywhere during the 90's.

I wanted something to make it feel a bit more updated.  So off to scour Pinterest I went.

Wallpaper seemed like a quick fix.  Images via Pinterest

Wallpaper seemed like a quick fix.  Images via Pinterest

Wallpaper seemed like a quick solution and I do love a good grasscloth.  I was looking for texture but still having nightmares about removing the Coca Cola wallpaper I took out of the rental unit (previous post).   I also considered some sort of trellis or bamboo for texture.  I wanted to stay away from another pallet wall as we have sort become the King and Queen of the wood wall and then I saw this...

Joanna does it again!  Love the color the small boards!  Everything.  Image via Pinterest.

Joanna does it again!  Love the color the small boards!  Everything.  Image via Pinterest.

I know while I was watching Fixer Upper (alone with my wine and popcorn) that I shouted that's it!!!  I then waited for Dave to come home and made him watch.  He lives for this stuff.  :)  I left the idea to marinate for a bit and the very next Saturday Dave woke up and said: "do you want to work on that wall today"?  Um, YES!  

Finished wall waiting for our picture frames

Finished wall waiting for our picture frames

The wall itself was fairly easy (although a bit more time consuming than the last walls we have done).  We used 1 x 2's.  Which in real life are 1 x 1.50 ish and randomly nailed them directly to the wall with our pneumatic nail gun.  The tricky part for Dave was the curve at the top.  He drew a template and used that to gauge his cuts.  Worked like a charm.  Now here is the part where I suggest you do as I say and not as I did.  I did NOT stain the boards beforehand.  Why you may be asking?? Two reasons.  1. I was actually flirting with the idea of leaving the wall natural and just sealing it.  2. Most importantly. Because my hubby had woken up on a Saturday am and announced we were going to work on the wall without being asked!!!!!  I am not about to slow momentum down worrying about little things like staining folks!  So, if I had to do it over I would stain beforehand.  It was tricky not getting stain all over.  I used Cherry stain by Minwax.  I love the color.  We are going to throw a coat of poly over it next weekend.  I'll post another pick once we've hung the pictures and address the too small rug.  :)

Total Project Cost 150.00  Time: 2 half days.  

Rental House...Quick and Easy Fireplace Update

We recently bought a house that we are using as a rental property (yay, land Barons)!  It's a cute 1950's house that needed A LOT of TLC and elbow grease (so much for being a Baroness).  We wanted something quick and easy but that would help our rental stand out in a competitive market.  We already have a pallet wall in the kitchen at our house that we love so we decided to give this fireplace a wood treatment.  

Before and after.

Before and after.

The before.  Not horrible. But not great.  Definitely in need of some love.

First step staining.

First step staining.

I started by staining with Minimax stain.  The top board is Expresso, the middle board is Dark Walnut and the bottom Weathered Oak.  I stained the sides so if the boards were uneven you would not see unstained wood.  We used new pine boards from Home Depot (our weekend date night hangout). 

I started by staining with Minimax stain.  The top board is Expresso, the middle board is Dark Walnut and the bottom Weathered Oak.  I stained the sides so if the boards were uneven you would not see unstained wood.  We used new pine boards from Home Depot (our weekend date night hangout). 

We (meaning hubby) cut the boards.  We ended up using 6ft, 4ft and 2 ft sections.

We (meaning hubby) cut the boards.  We ended up using 6ft, 4ft and 2 ft sections.

On the bottom, hubby measured and cut as he went.  The walls are terribly uneven, and it was just easier to hold the board up mark it with a pencil and cut.  He nailed the boards using a pneumatic nailer. 

On the bottom, hubby measured and cut as he went.  The walls are terribly uneven, and it was just easier to hold the board up mark it with a pencil and cut.  He nailed the boards using a pneumatic nailer. 

As hubby worked his way up to the ceiling, the wall curves a bit.  Cutting the boards in half lengthwise helped the boards fit better.  

As hubby worked his way up to the ceiling, the wall curves a bit.  Cutting the boards in half lengthwise helped the boards fit better.  

Finished!  For about $65.00 and an afternoon of labor, this makes a great impact on how the house shows.  Everyone that walked through the house commented on the wall.  It was a great update to help us stand out in the rental market.

Finished!  For about $65.00 and an afternoon of labor, this makes a great impact on how the house shows.  Everyone that walked through the house commented on the wall.  It was a great update to help us stand out in the rental market.

A slightly better photo showing the color.  Ignore the floors, I did mop them after I took these shots!

A slightly better photo showing the color.  Ignore the floors, I did mop them after I took these shots!

Pumpkins + Succulents = Happiness

Succulents make me happy.  Fall makes me happy.  Combining the two?  Oh my!  This is a quick and easy project and it's perfect for Fall decorating.  I've seen it everywhere the last few weeks.  Here is how I did mine.

So Pretty!

So Pretty!

All you need to gather for this project:  Pumpkins (any size, any color), Succulents (small as you can find), scissors and a hot glue gun.

All you need to gather for this project:  Pumpkins (any size, any color), Succulents (small as you can find), scissors and a hot glue gun.

Start by snapping of the stem at the pumpkins base.  I used mini pumpkins here.

Start by snapping of the stem at the pumpkins base.  I used mini pumpkins here.

Wipe the pumpkin clean.

Wipe the pumpkin clean.

Shake off as much of the dirt from the plant as possible.  I actually cut most of the root system off from mine so they would adhere better.  These will still last for weeks so no worries!

Shake off as much of the dirt from the plant as possible.  I actually cut most of the root system off from mine so they would adhere better.  These will still last for weeks so no worries!

Use the hot glue gun to begin gluing the succulents directly on the pumpkins.

Use the hot glue gun to begin gluing the succulents directly on the pumpkins.

Work you way around as you would a tiny floral arrangement.  Vary your sizes and colors for texture.

Work you way around as you would a tiny floral arrangement.  Vary your sizes and colors for texture.

How is easy it that!?!?!?!?  Quick and simple.  My kinda craft!  :)

How is easy it that!?!?!?!?  Quick and simple.  My kinda craft!  :)

I love these and these pics were taken 2 weeks after completed so they really hold up well.

I love these and these pics were taken 2 weeks after completed so they really hold up well.

Be our Guest

Guest room update.  OR maybe I should call this how the heck do you make a comfortable space for guests in a 10 x 9 room?  When we started working on our small 1950's ranch we took over another smallish bedroom to gain space for a bigger bath and walk in closet.  Which left us with only the 10 x 9 room for guests as our main living area.  We have some space in a finished basement but really needed a guest space upstairs for the dog sitter and the KIDS when they stay over.  It had to be functional, comfortable and perhaps most importantly, pretty.  The square footage certainly left a design dilemma in how to fit in the basics.  Here is what we came up with.

A first peek.. 

A first peek.. 

Here is what I started with....EEK!

Here is what I started with....EEK!

The mirrored oak doors we straight out of the late 80's.

The mirrored oak doors we straight out of the late 80's.

We used a gold screen for the headboard (urban outfitters) and found a very small table for the side next to the wall.  The safe is something I love and it has some storage so that helps. Lot's of comfy bedding tops it off to make our guests feel pampered (layers are the key to great hotel beds and I've done that here).  I love to leave guests something to read.  Short stories or a magazine to thumb through as they dozing off.

We used a gold screen for the headboard (urban outfitters) and found a very small table for the side next to the wall.  The safe is something I love and it has some storage so that helps. Lot's of comfy bedding tops it off to make our guests feel pampered (layers are the key to great hotel beds and I've done that here).  I love to leave guests something to read.  Short stories or a magazine to thumb through as they dozing off.

The sliding door is one of my favorite features.  I love the boho feel the vintage door added (we found a pair of doors and made it into one piece) and the fact that it slides left us room to actually fit the bed!

The sliding door is one of my favorite features.  I love the boho feel the vintage door added (we found a pair of doors and made it into one piece) and the fact that it slides left us room to actually fit the bed!

The Love you Madly wall art piece is from Sugarboo Designs

The Love you Madly wall art piece is from Sugarboo Designs

And finally I love to add family photos to personalize a room.   This photo shows a little green on the walls but you get the idea.  :)

And finally I love to add family photos to personalize a room.   This photo shows a little green on the walls but you get the idea.  :)

House Tour

My husband and I have worked on updating our small 50's ranch style house over the past couple of years.  It is an example of all the things I love about design.  Mixing new and old, DIY, using things in unexpected ways and the inevitable quirk or two.  It is (and likely always be) a work in progress.