This month I am excited to welcome back Jesse Hughes as my guest blogger, who has been teaching me about exterior home ideas. This is a big DIY project that I am not ready to… More
Here’s what do expect from our Complete Guide to Creating Spaces Series:
Part One: Inspiration – February 6
Part Two: Realization – February 13
Part Three: Implementation – February 20
We will discuss how each of us find our inspiration, how we take it from dream to realization, and finally how we make it come true – implementation.
Decorating spaces can be difficult when you do not know where to start. This is the last post of a three part series I have written (with some amazing other bloggers) to help you find simple ways to decorate your spaces. After INSPIRATION and REALIZATION, it is now time for IMPLEMENTATION. Make sure to check out each of these blogs and the amazing tips they share. Each image is pinnable to save to your Pinterest page as well!
I have discussed ways to find your design style and how utilizing Pinterest can give us tons of inspiration (read that post here). Then I offered ideas on how to find exactly WHAT you want and HOW to make it possible (read that post here). Finally, I am sharing ideas of gaining the courage to actually implement the decorations you have dreamed of.
Step One – Project Supplies
Now that you know WHAT project you can afford to do, it’s time to figure out the exact things you NEED to make it happen. If you are not used to doing DIY projects, I would recommend finding a blog who has already done your project and given step by step instructions on how to do it. This will be extremely helpful and give you confidence. Some of the blogs I love are:
Shanty2Chic – This is my number one go to blog for DIY projects
If you are handy and have done projects on your own before, you may feel ready to figure out the project on your own. Here are the steps I follow:
- Figure out all the supplies you have
- Measure out all the supplies you need
- Take all your measurements
- Purchase the supplies
Step Two – Plan Your Day
It is hard to work on a project 5 minutes here and five minutes there. It can be done but it does make it more stressful. I like to plan a day that I am able to focus my energy completely to getting the job done. It is usually when kids leave for school, and I stop working when they get home. Often I keep working on it once they go to bed.
Step Three – Build It
Are you ready to go? You have done all the prep work and now it’s time to make or build your project. You might be nervous, but you don’t need to be. Mistakes along the way are the best learning opportunity. Most of my DIY projects have “issues”. I don’t care, I learned something with each “issue” I had. And it made me a better builder. Almost anything can be fixed my friends!
Gather all your tools and supplies in one place
Make sure you have "messy" clothes on so they can get dirty
Have all of your directions ready
Don't rush the project - take your time
Ask for help if you need it
Youtube can be your best buddy
Safety Notes: If you are doing something with the electrical wall jack, make sure you turn the power off. Always unplug your power tools when you are not using them. Always wear safety goggles. Cover your carpet before you paint. And stop if you are frustrated. You can always go back in when you are ready. Getting frustrated usually makes for a messy project. These are all things I learned the hard way my friends!
Now just get started. Make the first cut. Paint the first wall. Nail the first piece of trim. YOU GOT THIS.
Once your are done, celebrate! You should be so proud of yourself!
Step Four – Decorate It
This is the funnest part! Once again, this can also be overwhelming. Make sure you go back to your Pinterest boards and get the inspiration you need. Your budget may have dwindled by now, and I do not believe decorations need to be expensive!
FIRST THINGS FIRST – Shop Your Home. What do you have in your home that can be moved around or put somewhere else? Try fiddling with the decor you have and see if it is enough to make a difference. Feel free to find a photo and copy it. There is no copyright to decorating! That is why decorators share their ideas, so that we all can benefit. I often do this with a mantel or small area. Once I copy the image, I then can move pieces around to make it my own. It’s a great first step.
If you do need to shop for a few things, I am adding my favorite budget shops for you to check out. I always SELL BEFORE I BUY. Meaning, I get rid of things in my home and sell them on social media before I go out shopping. It makes your new items basically free!
- Deseret Industries
- A Christian owned thrift store, all over the country
- Antique or Thrift Stores
- Be careful because some stores are way over priced
- They have so many deals on home decor and free shipping
- They have higher prices but when you have the 30% off coupon and get Kohls Cash, it’s a good deal
- Ross Dress for Less and TJ Max
- They get great decor in all the time (Ross is usually cheaper than TJ Max, but more picked over)
- Joann or Michaels
- I always use my 40% off coupon on their apps when I shop (they have tons of fun home decor)
- They have really great sales and you get coupons if you sign up for their newsletter
- RC Willey Clearance Center
- If you have an RC Willey by you, see if they have a clearance center – their prices are so awesome!
- They have such good deals on furniture, wood flooring and appliances – with the best return policy ever!
Once you are all done, stand back and admire your work. You did it. You figured it out. I hope you like what you see. Often I will close my eyes and open them again just to see my work. Then I walk away and then turn around really fast to see it again! Decorating and creating can bring so much satisfaction to your soul. I hope you are proud of yourself! Send me photos so I can see your work too!
PS – Need more ideas on how to create an entire room in 6 weeks? Come read my One Room Challenge Project from last year, and see how I got from this:
I have had a very simple window in my office space for years and decided it was time to dress it up. I am converting this old office into a pantry and this is my second step in the process. My first project was to add Peel-N-Stick Wallpaper to spice up the wall. You can see that super simple tutorial here. Next up will be the pantry shelving!
Once I finished the window treatment, I couldn’t believe how easy it was! I saw lots of ideas on Pinterest and decided upon the Craftsman Style with Fillet and Chasing Cap. I wasn’t even sure what those words meant – but I was going for it. I learned this from True Built Home here.
Here are my before and after photos – it made such a difference. I learned alot from Liz Forez at LOVEGROWSWILD Blog. Her post on a very similar window is so helpful. Read that here.
- 1×4, 1×6, 1×8 and 1×2 MDF boards per measurements of your window (more details to come in step one)
- Paint and Painting Supplies
- Painters Tape
- Caulk and Caulking Gun
- Spackle and Sand Paper
- Stud Finder
- Measuring Tape
- Brad Nailer and Air Compressor
- Miter Saw
Step One – Measure Your Windows
You will measure the height and width of your windows. 1×4 boards will be on both sides of your window – exact height. 1×6 board will be your window sill and will extend 3 inches over on each side (width plus 6 inches). The MDF 1×4, 1×2 and 1×8 boards will also extend over by 3 inches on each side. I had a 1×8 wood board in the shed so I opted to use that. At my Home Depot the MDF board was cheaper than the real wood. Additionally, Home Depot will cut your boards for you! Read all about it here.
Step Two – Gather Your Tools
I keep all my tools prepped on the window sill so I am ready to grab them.
Blesser House Blog has another blog post on how to install a similar window and she uses real wood and brad nails with a hammer – no nail gun! It’s a great option if you do not want to use a power tool.
Step Three – Find Your Studs
This is important because you want your boards securely in the wall. I use my Zircon StudSensor and marked it with painters tape.
Step Four – Install Boards
First you want to make sure your boards are evenly spaced 3 inches overlap on each side. Most blogs tell you to put the two side pieces on first. I started with the top pieces first. Either is fine. Grab your brad nailer and your level – make sure it’s straight before nailing into the studs. I was alone so YES I picked up the nailer with my feet!
I added the 1×8 board first. I made sure to leave 3/4 inch room to add my 1×2 underneith.
It is very important that your first piece is level. Check and recheck! It will determine the rest of your placements.
Next I added the top 1×2 piece and the bottom 1×2 piece.
I added the window sill next, but this effected the length of my 1×4 boards on the sides of the window – they were too long. I had to use my circular saw (or a jig saw) to cut the sill to fit the area. So if you do not want to make another cut in the 1×4 boards, install them first. Then measure the window sill to fit second. You will basically measure and cut out a corner on each side of the 1×6 board. Install with nail gun.
Finally I added the two sides boards and the 1×4 board underneath the window sill.
Step Four – Caulk
You will want to use paintable caulk. I always use a caulking gun because it’s hard for me to push the caulk out of the tube otherwise. I apply and then use my finger to make it smooth. They have tools for this but I like to use my finger instead. Keep a rag that you can throw away or a baby wipe close to wipe your finger on.
I am not very good at caulking as you an see in the next photo. It never works super well for me. If you aren’t either, don’t worry! You can paint over it. Just make it as smooth as possible.
Farmboy taught me to place a screw into the top so the caulk will not dry inside it. Works great for us!
Step Five – Spackel & Paint
If you are not using a primed MDF board you will need a coat of primer. MDF just soaks up the paint otherwise. Tape your area with painters tape and then add spackle to the small brad nail holes with a puddy knife. Let dry and sand off. Wipe off dust with a dry rag and you are ready to paint! I used 2 coats of Sherman Williams White to match my house.
Pulling off the tape is the best part in my opinion. It means your are done!
This inexpensive project added so much to my new pantry and I love it. Anyone can add this feature, it’s easier than you think!
Chippy Paint is the cutest! I have always wondered how to make something new look old – which is so ironic, but it’s so cute. I searched the internet of the best ways to do it and settled on this one, super easy and fast. Watch this 60 second video tutorial and then follow the steps below. Make sure to pin this image to save in your Pinterest!
I have always wanted to try wall paper but the thought of it intimidates me! I pictured it filled with wet glue and mess up’s constantly. And then I heard of Peel-n-Stick Wallpaper and my world changed. How easy does that sound? I had to try out.
I collaborated with two amazing companies for this project – The TAD Company and TACKLIFE Tools. Both are companies I reached out to because I had researched their products and wanted to work with them. I am attaching links to their sites to help you in your purchases. These are not affiliate links. But I was compensated from these companies in product and I was so excited. I know you will love them too!
We love all things barn door over here in the Ballard Home. Last year I built a darling one for our master bedroom for $75 and you can see that post here. This time around we needed some Mini Barn Doors for our sons playroom and love how they turned out!
Watch this 60 preview of the process and then follow along for all the instructions.
I am welcoming back Jesse Hughes as my guest blogger today to teach us some essentials when deciding upon chandelier. Many of you know I added a new light in my kitchen nook recently. It can be hard to know what will work best for your space when you aren’t using a designer. I hope you find some good tips from Jesse that will help you in your decision!
5 Essential Things to do Before Getting Your Chandelier by guest blogger Jesse Hughes
Designing each room of your home takes time and patience. Finding the right finishing touch can often be difficult but the chandelier is one feature that can fit into virtually any room. There are many different designs and styles available; there is certain to be one that appeals.
But, before you get your chandelier it is important to check the following things:
1. Your Electrics
It is highly likely that your current lighting circuit will support your choice of chandelier. However, you do need to consider the fact that a chandelier has lots of small bulbs; each one can place a drain on your lighting circuit and each circuit is designed to accommodate a certain amount of watts.
If you overload the circuit you risk bowing the trip every time you turn your chandelier on. In the worst case scenario it can even cause a fire.
This is why it is essential to contact Sydney electrical services to have them check and verify your current electrical system. If necessary an additional circuit can be added.
2. The Ceiling Strength
Next you need to consider the location of your chandelier and whether you have the supporting beams to support it. A chandelier can be fairly heavy, you’ll need to find the beams above your ceiling and secure it to these. If you don’t it is likely to fall.
You can use a stud locator to find the beams and check they are in a good position for your light
3. Lighting Ability
It is also important to consider how bright your chandelier will be. Although it has many small bulbs this may not translate into enough might for the space you have; especially if the chandelier is high.
Don’t be deceived by the look in the showroom; this is not the same as in your home. You’ll need to consider the light you currently have and how much more or less you need; before you get your chandelier.
4. Cost Of Using
Ideally you’ll have energy efficient LED bulbs in your chandelier; this will help to ensure the cost of running it is not ridiculously high.
However, if LED’s are not an option you should consider the power drain that your chandelier will have and how much this is likely to add onto your annual energy bill. This will depend on how much the light is on and you’ll need to be realistic when considering this fact.
Finally, it is worth noting that chandeliers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are also an array of different process. In order to get the best for your home and your energy usage you may need to go towards the top end of this scale.
Before you pick your chandelier consider the above points and the funds you have available. It may make more sense to expand your budget; even if that means waiting a little longer for the chandelier of your dreams.
This post is in paid partnership with Zircon Corporation. All opinions are my own and I only collaborate with companies that I use myself in my projects. I hope these links help you as you learn and grow!
Oh how I love Board and Batten Walls! My very first attempt was on my 40th birthday – all I wanted was to learn how to use a nail gun from Mr. Farmboy. I felt so empowered after that day and a woodworking “She-Ra” was released. Later on, I completed a full Board and Batten Wall in my son’s room – all by myself. You can read all about here – it was an exciting project for me.
So, today I am back at it and partnering with @ZirconTools to bring you a super simple DIY tutorial on how to make a Board and Batten Halfway Wall. Yes, I made up that title! Mr. Farmboy came up with the idea of only going up three-fourth the way up the wall and I loved it – hence this project was born.
Check out these before and after photos and watch my full DIY Youtube Tutorial here. Now come follow along and learn how to do this easy project that anyone can do!
I love finding designers who influence my ideas and creative thinking. That is why Amanda from the Midcounty Journal Blog is someone I just have to talk about. Her design style and antique decor inspire me.
Her home is a 1920 charmer that she and her husband are working on together. Her blog documents this DIY process and her lifestyle along the way. You can read along with her fun adventures here.
Additionally she teaches her readers food tips, recipes, and lifestyle ideas. Take a tour of her neutral pallet home full of antique goodies and classy style.
Her dining area has so much eye candy! Can you spy all the amazing pieces she has found?
She found this round white table used for $10! I love the scores she finds to compliment her home.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey through one of my favorite bloggers homes as she encourageus all to uplift our homes.
Go follow along with Amanda and her blogging journey, you will love it as much as I do!
Welcome to our Christmas Festival Blog Hop! I love joining these talented bloggers in hosting some holiday ideas to inspire you this season. If you are joining me from Elizabeth Joan Designs Blog – I am so glad you are here! Make sure to check out Red Brick on the Lake Blog as your next stop on the tour. And a big thank you to our host Kendra from Joy In Our Home Blog for making this all possible. Now lets get to it!
Just in case you need to pin this post for later reference, just click on the red tab on this photo in left hand corner. This post contains affiliate links to the products I recommend.
This year I added an entirely new look to this living room fireplace space (you can see the whole process here), so for the holidays I wanted to decorate my new mantel with a fresh and simple look. I added a few inexpensive touches that you can do as well.
Step One: Lighted Garland
I snagged a 9 foot long lighted garland from Home Depot for $30. I knew this would add a good base for me to start.
Step Two: Fresh Garland
Next I picked up a 25 foot fresh garland from Costco for $16. I used it in many places in my home. Here I used about 8 feet of it. You can soak these overnight to give it a longer lasting shelf life as well as mist it with water occasionally.
I placed this garland in front of the artificial one, and added some tall nails to hold it into place. If you do not want to make holes in your mantel I suggest you use 3M Command Strip Hooks.
Step Three – Add LED Lights
I used a 33 foot long LED light from StringBright.com to add extra depth and brightness to the greenery. These lights are perfect because they last 720 hours, have a remote control with different settings, use batteries and are easy to maneuver. You can pick some here! You can use the code CITYGIRL20 for 20% off the lights there.
Step Four – Adding Pinecones, Air Refreshers, and Trees
I then added some fun cinnamon branch air fresheners and pinecones just placed randomly throughout.
I snuck in a few trees that I had already to add height, and I was finished!
This only took a few minutes, was not very expensive, and really added a fun touch to my mantel area.
Here are some close up photos of the mantel:
Enjoy the rest of the tour and check out all of these amazing bloggers!
Christmas DIYs on Monday
Christmas Front Porches on Tuesday
Christmas Recipes on Wednesday
Christmas Mantles on Thursday
Christmas Tablescapes on Friday
Today I am welcoming my guest blogger, Jesse Hughes, as she teaches us some of the best seasons to tackle home improvement projects. I know will you learn so much from her and enjoy this special post!
What’s the Best Time of the Year to Tackle Major Home Improvement?
There is one thing that is certain; major home improvements usually mean major mess and disruption in your home. That can be a good enough reason to get the contractors in and take a vacation!
But, it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think. The trick is to plan the major house improvements at the best time of the year; this will ensure you have the least amount of disruption.
In fact, the best time of year to tackle any major home improvement project is the spring.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to replace your windows or have glass balustrades fitted; you should consider booking the work in for the spring.
There are several good reasons why this is the case:
The biggest projects, such as window replacement or heating issues are often undertaken in the fall. This is because people are thinking about the cooler weather coming in and are keen to get things sorted before it becomes a problem.
However, if you plan ahead and book a contractor for the spring you’ll be beating the rush and are likely to get a cheaper rate as this is the quietest time of the year for many contractors.
Early summer often offers the same benefits as people are in holiday mode and not thinking about the next big project.
It doesn’t matter what major project you undertake, there will be workmen coming and going and this means the doors and possibly windows will be opened and closed countless number of times throughout the day.
The result is a loss of the heat you need in the winter or the coolness in the summer. This can be frustrating when you’re trying to stay at the right temperature. It can also increase your energy bills to allow for the issues.
However, if you pick the spring you’re likely to find it easier to adapt without using extra energy.
Some major home improvement projects will leave your house exposed to the elements. If you’re looking to have your roof replaced or renew the façade on your walls then you’ll find that spring is the most forgiving time to do this.
You are less likely to suffer weather related damage in the spring but you are also less likely to find your workmen have not turned up again; thanks to the heat.
While the weather is not an element in every home improvement project it is a factor in many.
The spring is traditionally the tile hen householders get their homes ready for the summer. If you’re already thinking about the winter you’ll be able to purchase items and services at a fraction of the price they are available for in the winter. This can be a considerable saving and makes it worthwhile to get the improvements done early.
Of course getting them completed in the spring will also help to ensure that you have peace of mind throughout the summer and avoid the panic feeling in the fall.
Thank you for joined me and my guest host Jesse as we learn more about tackling projects in our home!