The Perfect Orb Chandelier

We were able to save some extra money on our kitchen reno budget, so we were able to splurge a little with our light fixtures.

I knew I wanted a nice orb chandelier.  I felt like I had seen them all over the place, but when it came to actually looking for one to buy, they all went into hiding.  Just like Amanda Bynes.

I found several styles, in different variations.  But none of them were quite right.

This one from Restoration Hardware was obviously too expensive, $1195.  But what I did like was how many lights it had.  Our previous chandelier was a 12 arm, and we knew we needed something that would really light up the whole area.

Restoration Hardware Orb Chandelier

Shades of Light had a few different options, but this one was too jewel-y.

Shades of Light ORB chandelier

This one was too twiggy and not enough arms.

Shades of light Orb

This one comes from the Young House Love line of lights, and I really like the price, but it only had one bulb.  That wouldn’t do much for our big area.

Shades of Light YHL orb

And of course, there are DIY versions of this style of light out there.  This fantastic tutorial comes from Tatertots and Jello.  But, we all know my recent failure at DIY light fixtures.

diy-orb-chandelier-tutorial-knock-off-

I found the perfect balance of price and style for an orb chandelier on Amazon.  I actually needed two chandeliers, one for the table, and one for the stairs.

Orb Chandelier

It’s the perfect scale for our dining table.

Orb Chandelier

I’m going to come right out and say it, I’m a light fixture harlot.  I love them so much.  I feel like light fixtures are jewelry for a room.

Orb Chandelier

I’m kind of obsessed with the way the lights look.  It’s joyous.

Orb Chandelier

Orb Chandelier

And from one orb to another… This picture was at 35 weeks.  Now we’re at 37 🙂

Orb Chandelier

And there was light!

White Subway Tile Backsplash

I am 12 blog posts behind of where we’re at with our house.  Thanksgiving week was a week long version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  My mom’s side of the family is Greek, and when the Pulos Family gets together, things get cray, in the best way possible.

My Big Fat Greek Family

When we started our kitchen renovation, our goal was to be finished before Thanksgiving.  My family was hosting a baby shower for us in our house Thanksgiving weekend, and we wanted to be 100% done by Thanksgiving so we wouldn’t be worried about unfinished projects floating around when Baby Crowder was born in December (WHICH IS THIS MONTH!).

Since we started at the end of July, Thanksgiving seemed like a completely reasonable deadline.  However, certain projects have taken longer than other projects.  The main time-taker has been the fence.  I haven’t said much about it on the blog yet (again, another post I am behind on) but when I write it, you’ll understand.  It’s like when you’re watching Labyrinth and the Goblin King fast forwards the clock…  but in real life you don’t get the joy of singing Dance Magic Dance.  And that’s a hard life.

the-goblin-king

We purchased our tile & supplies back in August, but the backsplash kept getting pushed back because of the need to get the fence finished.  When November hit, I knew there was no way we could get it done.  I really really wanted to do it myself.  But you know, something about being 8 months pregnant using a tile saw… We can’t all be Katie Bower or Pretty Handy Girl (and all the other many DIY bloggers who have bravely installed a backsplash.)

I had every intention of doing it.  But I had to call in some help to be finished on time.  (We DID finish everything before Thanksgiving, I’m just that behind on blogging.)

For the overwhelmed DIYer:

Redbeacon

I called Home Depot, and learned about an awesome service they have called Redbeacon.  This post is completely unsponsored, just a great experience I had.  Redbeacon is a site where you upload pictures and information about your project, and you get email bids from several licensed contractors.  All the contractors have been background checked, carry insurance, and have Home Depot’s stamp of approval.  They all have ratings and reviews you can read on the site as well.  It was so easy to use.  I stated that we already had our supplies, and just needed it installed.  We got very competitive bids and fair prices.  As soon as I picked a contractor, he started the next day.  It was very inexpensive since we already had our tile and supplies.  You even pay through the Redbeacon site.  For the overwhelmed DIYer, I highly suggest using Redbeacon to finish up projects, or those little projects (like drywall!) that you never feel like doing.

And here’s the tile, simple and clean.

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

It has been a very busy summer around here, but the major projects are coming to an end.  And it feels a lot like success kid.

sucess kid twitter

Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

New roof 

-Build Fence

Paint ceiling & walls

Install flooring 

Baseboards + board & batten

-Banister

Counter top install

Backsplash 

How To Paint Curtains

I’m breaking away from nursery posts today to bring you a living room update!  Our big projects are coming to a close (more on that soon!), which means I have been focusing on decorating details.

One thing we’ve been living without since demo (late July) is curtains.  It’s like living naked for the world to see.  So exposed.  I mean, cool, if that’s what you’re into.  But um, I dig privacy.

Since we have so much neutral happening in our grand room, I wanted some curtains with a punch.  As it would turn out, punchy curtains are really hard to find unless you want to pay $50+ per panel from a fancy store or custom order on Etsy.  Pretty much all other curtains are simple and neutral.

For a good long while, probably since Avatar was the cool thing… I’ve been wanting to try making fabric paint with textile medium.  Painting curtains was the perfect experiment.

I started with a plain white set of IKEA LENDA curtains, drew out a design on a scrap paper, got some votes, then started taping.  Nothing is trustier than FrogTape for crisp lines.

How To Paint Curtains

I mixed regular latex paint with the textile medium in an old mixing bowl that I was planning on tossing.

How To Paint Curtains

The ratio is 2:1.  2 parts paint to 1 part textile medium.  The handle broke off my measuring cup, so I used this old one to measure out 2 cups of paint.

How To Paint Curtains

I was so worried that the textile medium would change the color of the paint, but it didn’t.

How To Paint Curtains

My preferred color of mustard was Sherwin Williams Kingdom Gold (6698).

How To Paint Curtains

I rolled on the paint to cover the curtains nice and saturated-ly.

How To Paint Curtains

I let it dry over night for good measure.  The next day, Buster watched while I joyfully peeled the tape off.

How To Paint Curtains

However, I made a HUGE mistake.  Michael, I’ve made a huge mistake…  Normally when I paint, I use these old sheets as a drop cloth, and it’s fine.  But I REALLY should have been wise enough to use a heavier drop cloth, or a tarp.  The curtains were completely fused to these sheets.  Peeling them apart was akin to what I imagine an exorcism would be like.  Very gripping.

How To Paint Curtains

But the trouble didn’t stop there.  Because it majorly bled through onto my floors.  It was like a school bus died all over my front room.  For anyone wanting to know how to get paint off floors, warm water with a little Dawn and some elbow grease does the job.

How To Paint Curtains

Luckily the only mishaps were with my supplies.  The painted curtains were more than perfect.  It’s the love affair of the century.  Move aside William and Kate, we have new things to gawk over.

How To Paint Curtains

The final step is to heat set the fabric paint.  You can iron, or tumble dry.  I tumbled of course.

I used this tip to hang the curtain rod.  Please disregard my swollen pregnant hand and robe sleeve.  Take some cardboard and make a template to mark the holes.  Flip the template, and use it on the other side of the window for a perfect match.

How To Paint Curtains

The curtains need to be hemmed, but I’m not sweating that chore until after Thanksgiving.  We have people to entertain!

How To Paint Curtains

They are extra beautiful at night.

How To Paint Curtains

And extraordinarily magical from the outside.  I’m sure all my neighbors think I’m the coolest 🙂

How To Paint Curtains

And for pinning convenience, here you are!

How To Paint Curtains

Now that you’ve read my adventures in painting curtains, are you going to paint some fabric of your own?

Gold Scallops Accent Wall

Two weeks ago I showed you the plan for baby Evelyn’s nursery.  Very Imperial, with rich purple and shimmering gold.  When I showed you the mood board, I didn’t tell you where the scallops would be.  Although it was pretty obvious that it was for an accent wall 🙂  But instead of doing gold scallops on white, I wanted white scallops on a gold wall.
Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mood Board

When it was discovered that I was stenciling, many of my friends, were like “KENZ!  YOU BE CRAY!  STOP HAVING PREGNANCY BRAIN AND REMEMBER HOW MUCH YOU HATED STENCILING LAST TIME!”  Back in the day when only crickets read my blog (mostly because my posts and pictures sucked pretty good!) I stenciled our dining room.  It was awful.  It took me over a month to complete.  The stencil itself was a piece of junk.  I wanted to die.

Painting over a stencil. Dining Room

But when I went to Haven, I met with Royal Design Studio to talk about if stenciling again was worth it.  I told them my ideas for the nursery, and they gave me some great tips and convinced me to go for it!

This time around, I bought a much better quality of stencil (from Royal Design Studio… however, this post is NOT sponsored) and not some cheap-o stencil from Amazon.  When it comes to stencils, you get what you pay for.

Instead of using repositional tack-spray on the back of the stencil like I did the first time, I used painters tape.  It worked MUCH better, and I didn’t have to wash the stencil between each application.

Gold Scallop Accent Wall

Finding gold paint in a quantity for an entire wall was sort of challenging.  Obviously I couldn’t spray paint a wall, and you don’t usually find shimmery paint bigger than small couple-ounce sizes (not meant for walls, usually meant for smaller crafts).  Sherwin-Williams had a faux finish that was perfect for the project.  It was a little pricey.  On sale at 30% off, it was just over $20 a quart.  I thought I would only need a quart since I was doing just one small wall.  However, I ended up needing two.  If I knew that, I would have just bought a gallon.

Royal Design Studio recommended using a stencil brush for paint application.  They say to move the brush in a swirling pattern, not a stippling motion.  I practiced on their stencil at Haven, and it worked PERFECTLY there.

Gold Scallop Accent Wall

However, the consistency of the faux finish paint is not like regular paint.  It’s a lot thinner.  The swirling of the brush made it look like that icky Tuscan plaster paint that used to be really popular.  So I just went at it with a roller.  It ended up working great.

Gold Scallop Accent Wall

I wish my camera could capture the beauty of the gold!  It’s not just gold colored… it looks like gold leaf on the walls.  The nature of the paint makes it look very handcrafted, not manufactured.  So each part of the wall is a little different.  It’s so stunning in real life.  It’s our own little slice of fancy.

Gold Scallop Accent Wall

The thing you need to realize about stenciling, is that it is NOT an afternoon activity.  It’s a slow-going process.  You have to wait for each coat to dry, before you apply more paint.  Then wait for that to dry before you can apply the next register of stenciling.  For me, this was great!  There was absolutely no way I could “over do it” on this project, so it’s so much waiting.

Gold Scallop Accent Wall

Indy and Buster were happy to help too.  They really love this room.  It’s so bright and sunny.

Gold Scallop Accent Wall

The total time it took was about a week and a half.  Really, not bad.  It’s just one of those things that you work on here and there.

Gold Scallop Accent Wall

The edges prove to be a little tricky.  You have to bend the stencil.  Be prepared for it to bleed.  But touch up isn’t bad.  Again, it’s just something you need to be aware of when stenciling.  There’s no such thing as perfect stencil application.

Gold Scallop Accent Wall

I decided to leave the edged on the top and bottom as they were.  I really liked the way it looks.

Gold Scallop Accent Wall

Some people think scallops look like a mermaid tail, but I hold strong to the vision of an army of Russian nesting dolls!

Gold Scallop Accent Wall

The pictures really don’t capture the beauty of the gold shimmers.  But this picture kind of shows how the light shines differently and catches different parts of the wall.

Gold Scallop Accent Wall

Tell me all about your weekend endeavors!

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel {Fall Project}

You guys, I am SO fired up for today’s post!  This is such an easy fall project (or anytime of year project!) that anyone of any skill level can do.  I know, because it was my first time ever.  This is a tale of how I lost Dremel-ginity.

I was contacted by Coupons.com and asked if I’d like to participate in a fall project extravaganza.  I said HECK TO THE YES!  I LOVE Coupons.com.  I’ve been using the site forever.  As any true DIYer, I’m always focused on saving money.  And Coupons.com has coupons for everything from groceries to home improvement supplies.  Did you know they even have coupons for POWER TOOLS?!  My favorite ever.  Go look around and I guarantee you’ll find something worth saving money on.

I was able to find a coupon for a Dremel, and I’ve been wanting one FOREVER.  It was like the stars aligned.  What’s so great about a Dremel you ask?  It is the Swiss army knife of power tools.  It’s a multi-tool with interchangeable bits.  To name a few functions, it can etch glass, etch wood, carve wood, burn wood, drill, polish, sand, route and so much more.

I have never used a Dremel before, so when I picked it up, I made sure practice on a block of wood first so I could get the feel for it.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

For my fall project I wanted to etch a piece of subway art.  I picked up a piece of craft wood 2’X4′ in the hobby section of Home Depot for $6.  I got to staining it right away.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

I taped the template to the board and lightly traced the outline with the Dremel.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

The Dremel came with a few standard bits, and I used one of them to etch/carve it out.  For your reference, I used a 192.  It looks like this:

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

After the board was roughed in, I buckled down and started etching.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

Except, I forgot one MAJOR thing.  I have carpel tunnel.  And using a Dremel kills after about 45 mins.  One thing I’ve learned in all my projects is that you have to be adaptable and change plans sometimes.  I just had to accept that there was no way in the world I would finish the entire board.  To give you an idea of the scale, here it is on the mantle.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

Yeah.  Not happening.  Dremel, I love you, but I can’t handle that much of you.  So I found a way to change it up and shorten it.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

It was a shift in gears, but I thought it came together nicely.  It could be an inside sign, but I decided to drill a couple holes and thread some twine through, to hang it on the front door.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

I would like to thank Coupons.com for providing me with a gift card to Home Depot to get my supplies for this project.  And I encourage you to check out the site so you can score sweet discounts on the same supplies.

But I have extra good news for you!  They are giving away a $200 gift card to a lucky reader!  The give away will be open for a week.  It’s open for US residents only.

These other awesome bloggers are also involved in the Fall Project Extravaganza, and you should definitely check out their awesome fall projects!

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

Emma – Broke Ass Home
Gretchen – Boxy Colonial 
Fall Projects
So how do you enter for this sweeter than life deal?  Easy, you have 10 entry options.  You can enter up to TEN TIMES!  Follow Coupons.com on Google+, follow the above listed blogs on social media (listed below in the Rafflecopter widget).  Easy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How To Install Laminate Flooring… for dummies and pregnant women

Remember when I told you about this amazing deal on flooring I scored?  If you’re new, that post covers the reasons we went with laminate and the amazing price we got it for from Lumber Liquidators.  Let’s just say that it cost less than a mounted microwave.  With NO compromise on quality.  🙂

Laying laminate flooring is so easy a 5 month pregnant lady on bed rest could do it.  A literal statement.

Each box of flooring had a diagram of instructions in like manner to IKEA.  Aka, no words.  It’s pretty straight forward.

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

Okay.  The biggest thing to be learned from the steps is to make sure to put a doormat down.  You never know when the destruction of ghost feet will find you (as referenced in step 19).

We bought a flooring installation kit for about $15 and I highly recommend you do the same for your flooring installation.

how to install laminate flooring

The spacers go around the edges of the room.  Don’t be worried about gaps.  Your baseboards cover that.

It’s a pretty ingenious idea from IKEA to have the toe-kicks snap on and off.  We ran the flooring under the cabinets and were able to just snap the toe-kicks back on and it looked AMAZING!

how to install laminate flooring

The picture below shows the underlayment we used.  It’s called Traffic Master, and I picked it up at Home Depot.  I bought 600 sq ft for $28 total.  Which is a heck of a lot cheaper than Lumber Liquidators wanted to charge for underlayment.  They wanted to charge $0.40 sq ft.  Almost as much as the flooring itself.  So keep that in mind when pricing flooring.

how to install laminate flooring

When you start a new row, cut a random length, so you get a lovely staggered look.

how to install laminate flooring

The next piece snaps to the previous row nicely, but it’s almost impossible to avoid a gap between the next-door neighbor piece.

how to install laminate flooring

Which is where THIS GUY comes in handy.  Beat it with a hammer a couple times and…

how to install laminate flooring

BAM.  No gap.  Pretty sure this method crossed my mom’s mind a few time when considering braces for us children.

how to install laminate flooring

For the odd shaped pieces that needed to be cut (like for vent holes) we used a jig saw.  It was pretty simple!

Having the same flooring run throughout is like the day I realized wearing make up shouldn’t look like you’re wearing make up.  Bye bye white eye liner.

how to install laminate flooring

And to remember how bad that metaphoric white eye liner really was:

Laminate Flooring

how to install laminate flooringq

Check-in time:

Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

New roof 

-Build new fence (in progress)

Paint ceiling & walls

Install flooring 

-Baseboards + board & batten (supplies purchased)

-**newly added to the list** build new banister (supplies purchased)

Counter top install (done but you haven’t seen it yet, unless you creep on Instagram)

-Back splash (supplies purchased… did you weigh in on the opinion-fest on Facebook?)

We are getting close to being done.  Our new furniture has been arriving.  We have all the rest of the materials purchased, so we are ready to buckle down and get it done!