One thing I wasn't prepared for in my adult life is just how much frames cost. especially custom ones. When I started redoing my living room last summer I knew I wanted to do some large scale art behind the sofa. I had contemplated a gallery wall, but since I was already doing something of that nature in my hallway, I decided I wanted to make a simpler statement here. I originally thought travel posters, wine labels, I couldn't decide. Finally it came to me- maps! These maps have meaning to us (we've traveled to and loved each of these cities), and I'm happy with the overall result. However getting three custom 24x36 frames for an affordable price proved to be impossible, so... I made some myself! Here's how to make the frames and get your art printed...
Living room refresh
Here it is, the long awaited living room refresh. I did a full kitchen gut and makeover in less time than it took me to do a living room refresh, but sometimes that's the way things go.
This past February I added some molding to my hallway, and we ended up in a give a mouse a cookie situation because I realized you could see my hallway from the living room. The living room felt a lot more "me" than any of the decor in my living room ever did, and if I'm being honest the living room was always just an awkwardly decorated space, it was never quite right.
So here it is, my refresh, which involved DIY molding, paint, slipcovers and hanging some art. It took far longer than it should have, you could do something similar in a week or so, but I enjoyed the process and am continuing to work on it.
Like many homes built in the 1950's mine have core hollow doors. I'll admit they are bit prettier than those from the 80's, but they are certainly in rough condition. When we first moved in I slapped some white paint on and called it a day, but they never looked right and started quickly peeling.
I thought about replacing the doors all together, but each of my doors is slightly different in size, and custom doors just aren't in the budget right now.
I recently finished adding molding to my hallway and thought- why not use the same technique on the doors? So I did, and I kind of love it. It was quick, cheap, and easy. You can do this update in just one afternoon. Here's how...
DIY WALL SCONCE FOR UNDER $10
As I've been working on my hallway refresh, I've been getting lot's of inspiration from pre-war NYC apartments and Parisian pads. I don't really know what the style of the space is, I feel like spaces evolve organically, but after adding molding it seemed to be traditional with modern touches.
I knew I wanted to hang some sconces, but couldn't find the right ones. I really wanted vintage sconces but finding enough (I needed 3-6) and not spending a fortune were proving to be difficult. Seriously, have you looked at sconces? They are super expensive and most require hardwiring. Rather than rush and buy something I wasn't sure I loved I decided to see if I could MacGyver something together for the time being.
This is the happy accident that I came up with. They involve two pieces, one from Lowe's and one from the Dollar Tree. They take less than 10 minutes to put together and cost approximately $8. So here you go, the easiest and quickest DIY Sconces you can make!
MULLED RED WINE HOT CHOCOLATE
I know many of you live in more temperate areas of the country, but here in New England it's still winter. That means it's time to decide whether the evening libation will be a nice warming glass of wine, or a hot cup of cocoa. Except that I no longer have to make that decision, Red Wine Hot Chocolate for the win!
I know what you're thinking, I recoiled a bit at first too, it just seems.....wrong.
The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I love chocolate and wine, and chocolate and fruit...soooo....I mean it kinda makes sense...right?
I assure you it does. It's incredibly rich and decadent, it has a totally unique flavor, and it feels very festive. It's not for everyone, and it is a bit of an acquired taste, but once you start drinking it, it's so unique and different that you'll find yourself finishing the mug without thinking. So if you're brave and looking for something different this winter, read on!
Although NYE will most likely be spent on the couch (though if I'm being honest that's usually what happens around here anyways), you can still have a fun cocktail! Champagne is the go-to for this night, but I prefer Prosecco or Cava. A friend gifted me little flavored sugar cubes for my birthday that were meant to pop into a glass of sparkling wine and add a fun twist. I loved them, and was wondering if I could make them myself. Well, you can. It's actually incredibly easy to make sugar cubes. It only takes a few ingredients (which you probably have laying around) and you can create a whimsical addition to your drink. These would also be great at a tea party or for a really sweet gift (see what I did there). Moving on, here's how you make them...
EASY LATTE ART AT HOME
Missing your favorite coffee shop? Want to make fun and easy latte art at home? This is a fun and easy way! It's also a great way to jazz up hot chocolate and other winter beverages!
DIY Double Drawer SLIDING Organizer
I planned to share this in April, but here we are, almost through December and I'm finally sharing some of the hidden storage in this kitchen. I really enjoyed the problem solving aspect of designing this kitchen. What did I need storage for? Where could I put that storage in a very small space? One thing I couldn't work around was the fact that there will only be three drawers. At first I was worried, but I had three drawers in the kitchen before I demo'd and one was completely inaccessible. We made due with just two, and after pairing down a lot of useless equipment, I realized that's all I needed.
We also spend all summer in an RV where we only have one drawer, so I think this helped to make me feel better about the design! That being said, two of the drawers in my design are really deep, and it felt like a waste (not to mention an organizational nightmare) to have them be left as they are.
I used an Ana White plan to create my own version of a double drawer. The double drawer allowed me to put baking utensils in the lower part, and smaller gadgets (peelers, presses, etc) easy to reach on the top. We've been using it for a few months and I really love it. Perhaps I will finally get rid of my potato masher as the only thing it does is prevent drawers from opening. Perhaps...
Here's how I did it.
I'll admit that fried chicken is not in my wheel house. I grew up with a very European centered cuisine, and while I love BBQ and have mastered other American comfort foods (mac and cheese, meatloaf, pot roast) fried chicken has remained elusive..until now.
It's never come out crispy enough, but I now know the trick, and it's a game changer. So if you want to make easy fried chicken that will rival the Colonel, read on.
DIY FAUX PANEL DISHWASHER
I decided that a global pandemic was the best time to gut my kitchen and rebuild it myself, from scratch...I've had better ideas...I've also had worse ideas. For the most part, I'm really happy with how it's turning out.
The plan was a kitchen "refresh" as opposed to a full remodel. So the cabinets, counters, backsplash and decor was getting redone, but I was keeping the appliances. Which means the dishwasher that came with the house, that ugly but unfortunately it still works dishwasher had to stay.
So what's a gal to do with an ugly dishwasher in the middle of new cabinets...paint it of course! I decided to try to make it look like a built in "panel" dishwasher. It turned out it was super easy, inexpensive, and did the trick (until we can replace it)! So if you want to cover up an older dishwasher, this could be the solution for you. Here's how I did it...