There are lots of items still on our look-out-for list. You know, larger items such as lighting, rugs and shelving, but smaller items, too. Like a spoon rest. Or a butter dish. (I can’t make this up.)
One thing that was most definitely not on the list? A dining room table. Remember, we made one last year? Despite that small detail, we recently found ourselves coming home with one – one that looks a lot like the one we made, but just different enough to solve a few (tiny, really) issues in the dining room. Enter, this guy:
During a quick errand that has nothing to do with this house, we parked dangerously close to a Crate & Barrel Outlet, which of course turned into quickly popping in, which turned into oh my god, everything is on sale!, which ultimately turned into this $500 CB2 table being marked down to $75. And so begins the story of the time we accidentally bought a dining room table.
It’s slightly smaller in scale, coming in about 10″ shorter width-wise and 3″ shorter in depth. The wood is so smooth, it’s completely solid (no veneer here!), and it has the added detail of legs that shift in perspective as they round the table. It had been (severely) marked down due to missing its nuts and bolts, and it had the teeniest scuff along one edge. Like, 1/2″, barely there, itty bitty.
We waffled back and forth – but, wait, will it fit our chairs? We have a table! But this one is so smooth; can’t. Stop. Touching. - and during the waffle-fest, an employee informed us that by calling C&B customer service, they would likely send us the nuts and bolts. No questions asked. Sold!
As soon as our bolts arrived, we put everything together and realized that the arms on our chairs (which were staying! They’re a non-negotiable in the entire transaction) barely fit beneath, but by stacking rubber feet under the legs, they’d slide in easily. If you look closely, you’ll see that the table does ‘float’ above the ground, but a dining room rug will help.
The shorter width of this table, however, was a big, big bonus for us. As much as we loved our huge table of yore, this one allows for easier movement on the left! And the right! (We had tried rotating our old table altogether, but it made for an awkward and overly long layout.)
And as our exterior projects have wound down and we excitedly discuss what’s next?, we’ve been spending time tying up loose ends – the studio baseboards (which are done, by the way! Let’s drink!), the stairs (working on it!) and most definitely the guest room. But something that we’ve been noodling on for quite some time is our lighting situation in the dining room – or lack thereof. Our last table needed to scootch a smidge closer to the windows to allow for a larger walkway on the left, leaving our junction box off-centered. Now, we have a perfectly centered space for a fixture (or two?), and we’re actively narrowing down on a few clean and simple choices. (These? Or this?)
But the best part? Our story wrapped up perfectly when, at our yard sale last weekend, a good friend of ours stopped by, swooped in and scooped up our former table. Keeping it in the family; love it when that happens.
As we settle deeper and deeper into our new house groove (can we still call this new when we’ve been here for over a year?), it’s been challenging to find out what works, what doesn’t, and when to trust your gut and just go for something. Like a $75 table.
PS! Next week, Scott and I will be taking our annual week off to recharge these batteries. (Even though our anniversary is in November, we’ve bumped up our down time.) We’ll be back the week of the 22nd, refreshed and ready to dive into the fall season!
Yesterday we shared our friends’ entryway makeover as a whole (this photo of Miss M checking out her foyer is too much!), and now we’re going to dive into the most simple paneled wall DIY. I suppose this could also qualify as board and batten, although inspiration photo searches pull up B&B as going mid-way up a wall and not quite this tall. In any case – whatever you’d like to call it! – this decorative detail added so much more to the wall than paint would have done alone. I would be amiss not to mention that this was a complete team effort between us and the homeowners, and color us impressed (pun intended?) with their painting skills! Crisp lines for days, I tell you.
In our case, we were working with two 5′ wide walls, and we chose to bring our molding 6′ high to allow for coats and leashes to hang freely, while still allowing ample room below for bench perching. You’ll also notice that we decided to just go for it – choosing to paint not only our faux panels, but the baseboards, door casing and door itself as well! That little detail felt much more upscale and contemporary, fitting into the overall style of A and E’s home and existing decor.
1 3/8″w x 1/2″d x 8′ lattice strips
1″ x 2″ x 8′ select pine strips
Paintable acrylic caulk
Blue Cashmere (Valspar) paint
Circular saw (for cuts)
Sandpaper / electric sander
Paint brush and roller
WHAT WE DID. After E painted both walls, Scott and I swooped in to begin installation. Now, here is where their house is very, very different from ours. Their home was recently rebuilt from the ground up, so every surface was completely and beautifully straight. 90-degree angles abound! No warped walls! These are the kind of walls that dreams are made of. (Sigh.) With that said, we opted to start with the vertical panels, but please understand: Most drywall is not straight. In that case, it would be best to start with the horizontal cap and measure your vertical panels independent of each other, ensuring the best fit.
After triple-measuring to ensure that their floors were indeed the move level of all the floors!, again, we opted to begin with the vertical panels. We used 1 3/8″w lattice strips with a 1/2″ depth from Ace, but we decided to make them extra hunky by pairing two side-by-side. The 1/2″ depth allowed them to sit on top of the baseboards below without an overhang – perfect! We cut them down to 6′ in height using a circular saw, then we used our nail gun to put them in place. (Side note: we’ve seen strips of MDF do the job, too!)
We settled on a measurement of approximately 16″ between each of the vertical strips. Not only did we think it looked the best aesthetically, but it allowed the panels to be the most evenly spaced. This will be different for everyone, but it’s best to stick within a range of 12-18″.
As each piece of lattice went up, we obsessively used a level to make sure that everything was pin straight. (It always was. So dreamy.) Using the leftover 2′ from our lattice, we were able to add horizontal molding (about 16″ down from the top of the vertical strips), which was simply personal preference. Each and every horizontal gap was measured, as they were all ever-so-slightly different from one another – even if just by a 1/16″ of an inch.
With all of the lattice in place, we cut down our thicker pine 1x2s to the width of the walls and nailed them into place. We purposely chose something that was a bit more hefty, not only for visual interest, but to balance out the taller baseboards below! Using spackle and caulk (where needed – their walls were ridiculously straight!), we patched over the nail holes and seams and filled in any gaps where our boards met the wall.
A and E finished up the job by sanding everything smooth and painting the faux-panels the same color as the wall, Blue Cashmere by Valspar. We chose an eggshell finish overall for wipeability – especially since it was also applied to the baseboards and door. The sheen is perfect for this heavy use area!
We completed the paneled detail over the course of 1.5-2 hours one evening, and with that minimal effort, the finished product is absolutely worth it! Scott and I are considering areas in our home to do the same; what do you think?
Psst… See the full, finished space right here!
Last week, we shared with you this DIY bench – but it wasn’t for us. Today (and a handful of working weekday nights later), we’re excited to share with you its new, finished home!
For the last year, you know that we’ve been happily working with Ace Hardware to complete projects around our home, and this year – for the eighth year in a row! – they were ranked ‘Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retails Stores’; yeah, go, Ace!* To highlight this recent accolade, and because Ace is all about treating you like a neighbor (and not a number), we teamed up with our awesome sponsor and a $200 budget to help one of our neighbors.
This summer, our friends A and E moved not only into our neighborhood, but also within walking distance of our home – hooray! They have two pitties that rule their roost, which we maaay know a thing or two about. In fact, you might even know their furry kiddos, Miss M and Mr B, as well?
While they’ve been doing a fantastic (and honestly, stunning!) job of bringing their home up to speed, they mentioned that their front foyer wasn’t functioning as well as they’d like, and so began Operation Entryway for our two friends – ahem, even more so for their pups. It began as am empty beige box, a less-than-ideal glass paneled door, a bitty bench and no where to properly stash shoes and dog supplies (wet naps, dry towels, etc):
Scott and I brainstormed a few ways to give the space more life, and after running some ideas past A and E, they were sold on the idea of a decorative paneled wall. They had mentioned wanting to swap out the carpet tiles for something that would hide dirt a little better (they picked up these from CB2), and we gave them the task of finding a mirror they love (this one from Ikea). A new door was installed during the Operation, and a fresh paint job helped to really define the space! The color is Blue Cashmere from Valspar, which we love, love, love.
We shopped within their own home for artwork, and we kept the hidden tab hooks they already owned – for which we chose the complementary stain on the bench. In total, there are 10 hooks to hang jackets, leashes and doggie rain gear (obviously!), and we tucked a handful of baskets beneath the bench for shoes, towels and wet wipes for muddy paws.
While choosing photos and prints from their stash of art, we could not stop laughing at Miss M and Mr B’s glamour shots; truly, they are hilarious with just the right amount of quirk. (You know we love that! Every room need a good dose of quirk.)
Our $200 budget was used to purchase the supplies needed for the paneled wall, paint and bench, as well as a handful of behind-the-scenes necessities such as painter’s tape, drop cloths and trays.
We’ll be back later this week with an incredibly simple tutorial on the paneled wall, but for now, how about a bit of Ace cash for your own home projects? Together with the Ace crew, we’ll be giving away a $200 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader! The giveaway runs through Friday, September 12th at 5pm CST; simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be announced within this post by Friday evening. Good luck and happy entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclaimer: Ace Hardware received the highest numerical score among retail stores in the proprietary J.D. Power 2007-‐2014 Home Improvement Retail Store StudiesSM. 2014 study based on responses from 2,948 consumers measuring six stores and opinions of consumers who purchased a home improvement product or service within the previous 12 months. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed January-‐March 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.
We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. The adorable Miss M & Mr B are an added bonus.
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