This is the easiest DIY and it makes a big impact. Blanket ladders have been all the rage lately. They’re rustic and cozy. They add height and texture to a room. They are also ridiculously overpriced for what they are; pieces of wood screwed together.
Like most DIY’s this started with me seeing what I wanted in Pottery Barn and deciding that I could make it for (much) cheaper. If you have 20 minutes to spare you can make this too!
In perfect kitchens in perfect homes, dishtowels (or tea towels) are not actually used for drying the dishes or for...well for whatever tea towels were meant to be used for. However I do not have a perfect kitchen, and my home is far from it as well. I mean cute Instagram photos aside...we live here and we have dishes that need drying and spills that need cleaning up. Despite laundering them, I go through towels quite frequently.
In addition to needing them for practical uses, I think dishtowels can be a fun way to decorate for the seasons and all kinds of events. I love funny quirky sayings and pretty patterns alike. I always see ones I like, but I can't justify spending money on them when they get pretty beat up. Sometimes, I have an idea in my head of one that I want, but can't find it in the store. You know where this is going, it only made sense to find an affordable way to make them myself. So here it is, for around a $1.15 you can make endless possibilities of towels!
I'm fireplace obsessed. I've been known to have them (real of not) in every room of my house. I've gotten pretty good at the fake fireplace game over the years. In fact, my #1 "wishlist" item when purchasing a home wasn't hardwood floors, or granite counters. It was a working fireplace. When bf brought the idea of purchasing his grandfather's home to me, I loved the idea. Having a home that while a fixer-upper, had family history intrigued me. Bonus: It has not one, but two fireplaces! I've been known to have a fire anytime the temperature drops below 50 degrees (which is most of the time here in New England). Despite the two working fireplaces, I wanted one in the dining room as well. We already had this electric fireplace and used a $20 fix to make it look like a real wood stove. Seriously, we fool people all the time.
If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen the craziness that is my dining room right now. I recently built a ladder shelf system to store all of our extra dishes and tablescape decor. Needless to say the room was in shambles. Saws, drills, wood, hammers, all of it. It's since recovered, but I'm now mid-closet remodel so theres still a corner filled with power tools until the weather cooperates enough for me to move outside.
Speaking of weather, the weather plus a recent cold has kept me housebound, giving me plenty of time to clean up the room. Which is exactly what I did....just kidding...I decided to take the drop cloth leftover from the aforementioned shelf project and make these little napkins instead. It takes mere minutes and costs less than a dollar per napkin (depending on size). So if you've got a dinner coming up and want to impress, make these little guys. Do it! Do it now! Well, first read how I did it so you don't make my mistakes.
It's funny, I never saw myself as a "rustic" or "farmhouse" style person. I always saw myself decorating my house with a modern cosmopolitan vibe. But then, I like all things Pottery Barn, and we bought a ranch around the corner from an old farm, and well, I believe you have to work with the house. This house wants to be comfy, and cozy, and as much as I tried to push clean lines and metallics on it...it wanted burlap, chunky blankets, and rustic touches. So I'm going where the house wants to go, but still keeping some of me in it too (I'm looking at you metallic candlesticks- gotta have some glam!). I have been thinking about this sign for some time now. I knew I wanted one, I just couldn't find "the one." I came close to finding "the one" last week, but it just wasn't it, so I made it myself! It cost me nothing, it will cost you $15 at most!
This is the story of wandering around Crate and Barrel looking for storage ideas for my dining room. In this story I see a ladder shelf with a standing desk and think, wow, that would be perfect for my dining room to store my serving dishes. In this story I also look at the shelf, see the price tag of $500 and think...I can build that. Why I thought I could build it, I have no idea. I have zero experience save for the outdoor couches I made last summer, and that was really just nailing 2 x 4's together. This though, this would require fancy things like pocket holes and angled cuts. Who looks at furniture and thinks, "oh I can build that" having NEVER ACTUALLY BUILT FURNITURE. Well, me apparently. So, this is the story of how I did it.
Ah, knotty pine cabinets. The choice for summer cottages, log cabins....and everyone on my street in 1954. Let me start by saying that I love knotty pine, and I TOTALLY understand the people out there that think its sacrileges to paint over such cabinets, that knotty pine cabinets should be restored to their original glory. I'm a history teacher, I get it, I'm all about preserving the past...but not when the past is where I spend an inordinate amount of time each day. So if you are someone who can't stomach painted knotty pine, run away now!
Having lived in the city for several years, the idea of seeing into your neighbors home never really bothered me. In fact, I loved knowing that behind the hundreds of windows in a building were hundreds of individual stores happening all at once. I guess it's a little voyeuristic but I enjoyed seeing people going about their lives. Now that I'm in the suburbs though, seeing in people's windows seems a bit....creepy.
If you look closely at the back of a lot of my blog photos you can see my marble counter tops...except that you can't...because they are fake...as in I painted them myself fake. Let me explain. When bf and I bought our house from his grandfather, we were thrilled that it had a lot of family history. His grandfather was the original owner of the house, which was built in 1954. While I love that the house had a history, I didn't like that the decor was stuck in history. Think orange and avacado kitchen, bright yellow bathroom, and five layers of wallpaper.