Outdoor Reclaimed Wood Floating Buffet

reclaimed wood outdoor buffetI’m finally ready to share our first real completed project on the screened in porch with you. It’s a floating buffet made out of reclaimed wood that actually hinges up for storage. And the best part is that is cost us basically nothing (we only had to buy the hinges!) Let’s back track a little to where this project started.

porch beforeThere was this nice empty spot between the french doors and the windows on our porch that was just begging for a table. And there was the nice pile of wood sitting in our backyard from when we took down the old play set.

reclaimed woodWe decided to build a rustic industrial buffet that would float or hang off the wall and could be hinged up for storage in the off season. It’s super easy to construct, but I’ll break it down for you in a couple of pictures.

rustic outdoor buffettWe started by picking out 3 of the best pieces of reclaimed wood then screwed in 3 pieces of scrap wood vertically to hold the table top together.

industrial pallet buffetNext we added three more pieces to the underneath of the table.

reclaimed wood tableFinally we finished off all of the edges with cedar left over from the reclaimed window pane window box project.

reclaimed wood buffetIn order to secure the table to the vinyl siding we added a piece of wood at the height of the table making sure to screw it into studs. I then painted the white board the same color as the siding.

reclaimed wood outdoor buffetThe table is hung  from two places. Its secured directly to the house by two hinges that are hidden underneath the table top and from two chains that we simply screwed into studs behind the siding. The chains were also left over from the window boxes.

Outdoor wood buffet for porchThis view really allows you to see the character of the wood. We sanded it down lightly to remove the dirt and grime then I finished it with a coat of coconut oil (because that’s all I had).

DIY reclaimed wood industrial tableIt’s really amazing how much more functional the porch is now. We love being able to put drinks and snacks on the buffet while we’re entertaining guests outside. It’s also a much nicer view now from the outdoor furniture. Remember this is what is looked like before:

porch beforeAnd now!

Porch after buffetYou might also notice that the doors are now the same color as our shutters and the trim got a nice white paint job. The windows also received some window treatments (more on that soon). For now please ignore that tiny outdated light fixture and the terrible metal storm shutters. Those are both updates for another day.

We’re continuing to finish up the trim on the outside of the porch as well as lay a new floor, so look for more porch updates soon!

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6 budget friendly ways to improve your front door’s curb appeal

improve your front doors curb appealWe spent the last couple of weekends working on some small and budget friendly ways to improve out front door’s curb appeal. Ideally, I would love to rip the door out and replace it with something  more modern and why not throw up a portico while we’re at it. Those plans are actually in the works but with a cost of about $2500 they are in the 2-3 year maybe we’ll win the lottery plan.  Meanwhile I didn’t want to sit around with a door I hate think could use some improvements. So, if you are also stuck with a door you despise and no money to replace it here are 6 budget friendly ways to improve your front door’s curb appeal.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1. Upgrade the lighting Our house came with these mediocre carriage style lights flanking the front door. Ideally they would be a little larger, but they actually fit the colonial style of the house nicely. They were; however, a little faded, but no fear it winds up painting an exterior light is super easy.  After disconnecting the lights the glass simply slid out and I spray painted them in a semi-gloss black. I also upgraded the lights bulbs to LED bulbs which have a softer light and better shape than our older CFLs. Not to mention they are even more energy efficient.

Total I spent $6 painting the lights and $20 on the two new LED bulbs.

2. Add planters I actually already owned these planters but they had seen better days, so I gave them a quick paint job with left over paint from the lights. As for adding plants I recommend going with one color to  make a bigger impact from the street.

2 pots refills were $14

3. Paint Everything! This is by far the biggest impact you can make.  The door was originally a dated burgundy that was faded from the sun. I painted it Glidden Roasted Red Pepper (the color was a little bright for the house so I wound up darkening the paint by adding black acrylic to it). The new color feels so much more fresh and instantly draws the eye to the entrance. I also painted all of the trim around the door a bright white. Even if you already have a color you love, freshening up the paint can really make the front door shine.

1 qt of paint was $9

4. Change up the door hardware Ok, I must confess that this was not cheap. We saved so much money on the rest of the project that we splurged on the Schlage Century Keyless Entry System in Antique bronze from Build.com We justified this purchase in part because the handset can be moved to a new door eventually. Did I mention this system can be connected to your smart phone and be unlocked remotely? Ya, it’s pretty awesome and by far the nicest handset we’ve ever bought.

New handset= $321 with free shipping If a new door set is not in your budget than consider spray painting your current one. This will completely change the look for the handset for about $6!

5.  Add large house numbers This is an easy way to add a big impact for little time and money.  This is also a great way to cement the style of your house as numbers come in everything from modern and traditional to craftsmen, cottage, and Spanish style. Larger numbers will also make it easier for friends to find your house. Consider the placement of your numbers carefully. They don’t have to go back where they were. Find a place where they will make the biggest impact.

$4 a number from Home Depot (P.S. you could also spray paint your old ones :)

6. Add in a whimsical door mat For me the door mat is a place to have fun and further cement your design style. They are cheap and easy to change out, so go a little crazy. Mine is bright green with a bicycle print on it from Target.

Door mat= $7

Well there you have it. 6 budget friendly ideas to improve your front door’s curb appeal that you could easily tackle this weekend. And just for fun here is a bonus:

7. Remove stuff Too many things around the door will just make it feel cluttered so remove shoes, hoses, toys, or watering cans that may be lying around. Those of you who follow my blog regularly may also notice that we removed the glass storm door. Not only did this dramatically increase the visual appeal of the door from the street but it also improved the functionality of the steps. Narrow top steps and storm doors that open out don’t work well together. Finally, remove all the dirt. Wash the windows and power wash the steps and concrete.

Here’s a quick reminder of what the front door used to look like (this is after we replaced the pediment but before we did anything else). front door curp apeal before and afterLinked up with:

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Quick and easy DIY silhouettes

make a silhouette with a bow

I’ve been dying to make silhouettes of my kids ever since I’ve seen them all over Pinterest. To me this is my favorite kind of art. It’s personal, customizable, and cheap! I love that silhouettes are also a very classic motif and it doesn’t hurt that they are easy to make. I decided not to write a whole new tutorial for this project since they are all over the internet (here is the one I used), but I will give you a couple of details.

  1. I used black construction paper for the silhouette
  2. The background is a gift bag that I bought at Target (cute, right?)
  3. I glued the construction paper to the background with Elmer’s glue
  4. The frames are Ikea Ribba.

Here’s an example of the pictures I started with and how the silhouette came out:

silh collageDIY silhouette







I made them nice and pinnable for you too!

The inspiration to add the ribbon actually came from this silhouette pillow.  My girl’s always have bows and headbands in their hair so it only made sense to add them.

how to make a silhouetteI love how these came out. The colors are absolutely perfect. I especially love the texture of the gift bag which looks like lace. The options you could used for the backdrop are endless (think of all that scrapbook paper out there!)

The frames found a home at the top of our kitchen stairs. They draw the eye up while the mint color connects the two spaces together (remember our mint school house lights and our mint and sisal chandelier in the kitchen?)

how to make a silhouetteFor now please ignore the ugly stairs and half painted walls. They’re next on our to-do list. The silhouettes also make the perfect transition from the adult space of the kitchen to the kid’s space of the playroom.

DIY silhouette tutorialStay tuned for 3 more DIY art projects I have on my list. Until check out some of previous projects: Stenciled Burlap art, DIY Subway Art, Glitter art, and reclaimed wood moose head.

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A new idea for old windows

I’ve been teasing all of you about a new outdoor upcycle project for a while, and I am so excited it is finally done! It was actually a really easy project to do, we’ve just been extra busy lately! Well without further ado here it is:

what to do with old windowsLet’s take a quick step back and I’ll tell you how this project came into fruition.  I had two problems that had been plaguing me:

  1. I had two old windows from our kitchen just sitting on the patio begging for a new life.
  2. The view into our back yard is ugly! There are no gardens and because we have plans to gut the whole area and put in a pool (in like 3 years) we don’t want to waste the time or money to install any.

Here’s the view from our screened in porch.

backyard beforeI was stumped with what to do with this space until I saw this pin! All of my problems seemed suddenly solved. I had a purpose for my old windows and a way to add color and dimension to our old shed,  I was lazy and didn’t take pictures of the whole process but basically we built a box out of cedar and attached it to the front of the windows.

hanging window boxesWe drilled hooks into the overhang on the shed and hung the windows with chain. The chain is simply attached to the window with a screw.

faux windowsAnd here is a window going up.

window boxesOK, you caught me. I really just wanted to show off my hot hubby. But you have to admit that the new (old) faux windows really jazz up the old shed.

how to make window boxesIf you want my secret for making window boxes look lush and full right away check out this post.

flowers in window boxesAnd look how much the view from the porch has improved!

faux windowsIf you want more window box inspiration don’t miss my 17 dreamy window boxes you can easily create yourself and my trick to getting gorgeous window boxes.

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17 dreamy window boxes you can easily create yourself

I’ve mentioned Hometalk before but if it’s new to you: imagine Pinterest, but only for Home and Garden related posts and you can directly ask the creator questions about their project! Sounds like a dream come true doesn’t it? You should definitely drop everything you are doing and check it out right now! Make sure to follow me while you are there! After spotting my tricks to gorgeous window boxes; the Hometalk Gods asked if I would curate an entire clipboard of window box inspiration. Of course I said yes! Those of you who were around last year may remember that I also curated a DIY console table board featuring my Greek Key TV console.  This was actually a really timely request because that outdoor upcycle project I’ve been hinting at incorporates a window box (check back Thursday for the reveal!)

Just click the image below to see all 17 dreamy window boxes that will definitely inspire you!

inspiration for window boxesAfter you’re done looking at all the DIY porn on the site come back and let me know what you think of Hometalk!

2014 Goals- 6 month check in

Can you believe we’re are already half way through 2014?! Craziness right? Back at the beginning of the year I shared a vision of our goals for our home this year along with timeline we hoped to accomplish it in. I figured it was only fair that to check in with yal and show you where we are in our plans as well as how they’ve changed. Here’s a quick recap of where we are and where we are going:

Foyer makeover

Board and batten in foyer

The foyer got a complete makeover with new paint and board and batten wainscoting. My sexy contractor hubby was nice enough to build me this amazing industrial style console table (see directions here). A new mirror and decorations like my “Hey there beautiful” art liven up the space. While this project sorely tempted our marriage patience it came out fabulous in the end and stayed on schedule.

foyer table and artwork

Porch Makeover

This project started off behind schedule because March just refused to warm up enough to let us go outside. In fact we’re are still wrapping it up. So far we have painted the porch ceiling, painted the railings, replaced the screens and installed a new fan and screen door. We are now just finishing up the exterior trim work. Originally we had planned on tiling the floors but that project has been bumped to 2015. Here’s a sneak peek:


Curb Appeal

The plan for 2014 was to finish getting the front beds planted which is 100% completed and right on schedule! Whoohoo!


Thanks to a nice tax return in February we were able to jump the list and install all new windows on the front of the house (this was originally slated for the fall).exterior


I originally didn’t have the kitchen listed in our 2014 goals but there were still some small loose ends that need to be tied up in there including installing the new school house pendants over the island and hanging the Ikea Fintrop system over the new stove (also a tax return purchase).

kitchen rail system with utensils

In a burst of energy the inside of the pantry also got a complete makeover for only $11!

before and after pantry makeover

Master Bathroom

The master bath also did not make an appearance on our original goals, but I had the time and energy to tackle some small projects in there including painting the cabinets, framing the mirror, making a curtain for the knee hole, and painting a striped accent wall.

bathroom vanity curtain

Family Room

Most of the family room was completed back in 2013, but I put some finishing touches on it at the beginning of the year including how we made the subway art and my embellished Ikea curtains. See the whole reveal here.

family room makeover

So, what’s next?

June: Finish up the porch makeover, some gardening projects, and give the front door a makeover

July: 3 new DIY art project for the family room and kitchen, Makeover the kitchen stairs

August: Add a banquette to the Kitchen bay window

September: Makeover the laundry room and half bath

October- November: Tackle the foyer stairs makeover

This list may be a little insane ambitious. I’ll keep you updated on the progress as we go. Oh, and the portico we hoped to add to the front of the house has be bumped to spring 2015.

Free Master Bathroom Updates

I’m back this week with another Master Bathroom Update! I know we’ve been all over the house lately with projects (like the stove update from last week) and I promise we’re still working on the screened in porch makeover.  If you remember way back when, I shared our grand plans for the master bath. Phase 1 of this project is purely a cosmetic upgrade focusing on spending the least amount of money as possible.  To date I’ve spent exactly $0! Pretty amazing when you see how far it’s come in a second. Last you saw the bathroom it looked like this:

bathroom vanity plans

I had already painted the walls and the vanity, so next up was figuring out how to hide the storage tower and trash can in the weird vanity area. I searched around the house trying to come up with a plan for a vanity curtain and finally spotted this old pillow case that we were no longer using. Point 1 for upcycling!

old pillowcase

I also found some left over ribbon and stitch witchery from the family room curtain project that used to hem and embellish the pillow case.

pillow case curtain

You can get more details on adding ribbon to curtains with stitch witchery here. Next , using an old tension rod from Sophie’s closet I hung the curtains using some rod rings from Ikea. And that’s when I ran into my first problem.

master bathroom curtain

Because of the drawer I couldn’t get the rod high enough to keep the clips from showing. So, instead I had to go with a rod pocket design, but luckily I was able to reuse the curtain clips on the closet curtain. Point 2 for reusing! And look how much better the vanity looks now!

bathroom vanity curtain

This was such a strange little empty spot in the bathroom. I assume it was meant as a makeup counter where you could sit down, but I would never use it for that. Does anybody? It seemed like such a waste of space, but now it’s functional and the trashcan and storage unit are  successfully hidden!

bathroom vanity curtain

You may notice a couple of extra updates as well. The mirror is now framed in left over door trim from the foyer remodel (that would be Point 3 for upcycling!). The wall to the left also got some wide horizontal stripes thanks to some left over trim paint.

bathroom vanity makeover

This space is feeling so much more refreshed already!

budget bathroom makeover

And of course no makeover story would be complete without the before shot:

Master Bath before

It’s pretty amazing what you can do with no money just by shopping your house! Next up is concreting the countertops and some new art, which will require a little money. But for now I’m just going to sit back and enjoy not spending any money.

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Kitchen update: New stove and Ikea Fintorp

Ikea fintorp and samsung slide in electric range

Ok, so we’ve technically had the new stove for a couple of months, but the Ikea Fintorp system is new.  Let me start with the stove by going all the way back to when we bought the house. The kitchen came with this pretty decent black stove. We always knew we’d replace it, but decided to save up our money and work with this one for a while.Kitchen

Then the oven died conveniently right after we received our tax return back. The hunt was on for a new stove. This was actually a really difficult decision for us because there were so many on the market. We knew we wanted something industrial looking, but we didn’t have a Viking kind of budget. Finally we narrowed down what we really wanted to:

  • slide-in electric range
  • large stainless steel knobs
  • no lip around the stove top (for easy cleaning)
  • the less black and more stainless the better

We were hoping to find a scratch and dent, but it wound up that our wants severely limited our options. In the end we choose the Samsung 30 in slide in (model #NE58F9500SS) basically because we liked how it looked the best.

Samsung 30-in Smooth Surface 5-Element 5.8-cu ft Self-Cleaning with Steam Slide-In Convection Electric Range (Stainless Steel)

It was actually the knobs that sold us. It was really difficult to find an electric range with knobs. Apparently they are all touch screen these days.

samsung eletric range knobs

We snagged it on President’s Day for 10% off at East Coast Appliance, but it still ran us about $1800. That was about $800 more than I wanted to spend, but in the end we decided to go with the stove we really wanted rather than a cheaper one that we’d quickly regret, So far we love it!

Once we got the range installed; however, we quickly ran into another problem. A really white wall!


Typically with a slide in range people create some type of inset in the tile behind the stove to break up the large surface area. Unfortunately, when we installed our herringbone subway tile we didn’t know that we would eventually be purchasing a slide in. So, there sat this big white space just mocking me for months. Luckily while making a trip back from Northern Virginia I stopped at Ikea and immediately spotted the solution! The Ikea Fintorp series is a rail system (much like the Grundtal which we had in our last kitchen) that allows you to mix and match components to create a custom organization center.

utensil rail for kitchen

Not only did it fill in the black space above the stove, but it’s also super functional.  I choose to go with the large wire basket with handle, the flatware caddy in white which holds a Fejka artificial plant (that totally looks real), and a Rort spoon and fork set held up by Fintorp black hooks. I also upgraded our oil dispenser and salt and pepper grinders since they are now on display.

kitchen rail system with utensils

Total we spent about $44 on this whole system, and it’s worth every penny! Which is great since we had to drill into the tile to hang it.  I also decided that the range hood with all the cabinets was a little too white, so I broke it all up with a mint monogram that I painted then distressed using acrylic paint. Still not sure if we love it, but it’s staying for now.

panit range hood

This area of the kitchen is officially done which means the kitchen itself is almost done! Next up is refinishing the kitchen stairs, a built in banquette for the bay window , and a little bit of decorating!

electric slide in range with knobs

For now; however, I’m just enjoying that our kitchen no longer looks like this:

Kitchen before

Schoolhouse pendant light for kitchen island

Newsflash: I’m a terrible blogger. It’s been over 2 weeks since my last post, and I have no excuse other than I’ve been busy. We’ve been working hard at the screened porch makeover, but it’s not all that interesting to talk about until it’s done. Our kitchen lights; however, have been finished for about a month now, and I still I haven’t mentioned them. See, bad blogger.

You may remember that I first introduced you to Barn  Light Electric and their amazing lights here.  That was way back before we even knew we would be moving last summer. I instantly fell in love with their Primary Schoolhouse Stem Mount Pendant and knew that one day I would design my kitchen around it.  That wound up being sooner than I had thought, and I actually wound up buying the light before we even closed on the house.

kitchen during

This was one of the last pictures I shared of the kitchen. You can see the pendant has already been installed but there were a couple of issues with it.

  1. The old light box was not centered with the new island
  2. It didn’t put out enough light
  3. The light was not making quite as big of a statement as I had hoped.

The solution was to buy another pendant and the result was perfect! But before we get to all the pretty pictures let me show you the mess we had to make in order to install and center both lights with the island.

installing pendants

Now to the pretty pictures:

schoolhouse pendants over island

schoolhouse pendant in kitchen

schoolhouse pendant in jadeite


barn light electric

The color of the pendants matches perfectly with the chandelier I painted over the table.

And a close-up:

Primary schoolhouse pendant in jadite

There are a lot of options to choose from in order to create a semi-custom light. Here are the options we choose below:

schoolhouse light

The original price was $182 a piece with free shipping which I think is awesome, but I was able to get both of mine for 10% off during their 4th of July and New Year’s Day sales. That made them only $167 a piece! Happy Dance!


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$11 Pantry Makeover

budget pantry makeover with basketsAll of those beautiful and organized pantries on Pinterest (like this one, this one, and this one) had me itching to get my hands on ours. When we originally painted the kitchen, I painted the outside of the pantry doors and replaced the knobs, but the inside was 100% original to the house including the peachy orange paint that used to be in the whole kitchen. A pantry makeover wasn’t exactly high on the priority list so from the get-go I knew there were two driving principals for this projects: I had to sneak it in between our higher priority porch makeover and it needed to cost basically nothing.

problems with the pantry


Besides the horrible paint color I also had these problems to contend with:

  1. Dog food storage that didn’t fit under the shelf.
  2. Brooms and mops that flopped all over the place.
  3. Potatoes and onions rolling wherever they wished.
  4. Dark wood and dated striped contact paper.
  5. No storage for paper products.
  6. No rhyme or reason to the placement of any products.

Painting the pantry



pantry makeover


To start with I removed all of the shelves and ripped off the old contact paper. It came off easy enough, but was still time consuming. I originally planned on recovering the shelves with the fun teal and white chevron contact paper (affiliate), but not only would I have needed about 5 rolls, but according to the reviews the dark wood would have shown through the paper, so I decided to save some money and paint them instead. Pantry makeoverNext, I cleaned the shelves with my tsp substitute (affiliate), then primed them once and painted them bright white.  The shelves were actually suppose to be the same mint green as the dining room, but  Cody took it upon himself to paint them while I was at work; and I just didn’t have the energy to re-paint them. While the shelves were getting painted I also painted the pantry walls white (Valspar Ultra white in semi-gloss).

painting a pantry

See how much brighter it looks already? You can also see that we bumped up the bottom shelf up about an inch so that the dog food storage could easily slide under the shelf now.  It’s hard to tell in this picture but I also painted the fronts of the shelves the mint green (B.M. Palladian) to give the space a little bit of charm.

wax shelvesBefore I started placing items back on the shelves I rubbed the shelves down with Paste Finishing Wax to make sure the paint didn’t get chipped up by cans or baskets being dragged across the shelves.

Pantry Labels

DIY pantry lablesNow that the pantry was painted, it was time for some organization, and I knew I wanted super cute labels for the baskets I had rounded up (here’s similar ones from one of my affiliates). I found these unpainted clipboards and chalkboards for $.88 a piece at A.C. Moore.

DIY pantry tagsThey were a little plain, so I painted the clip boards the same mint as the shelf fronts, and gave the chalkboard a quick swipe of my favorite stain (Minwax Mission oak- affiliate).

make your own pantry lablesNext, I hot glued the clip boards and chalkboard to the front of the baskets. I also used a white paint pen to label the chalk board.

pantry lablesThe most time consuming part of this project was creating the labels for the chalk boards. Mostly because I spent an hour deciding on fonts (something I’ll save you the hassle of). I made these in MS Word by creating a rounded rectangle slightly smaller than the clipboard. Next, I came up with a cutesy saying to describe the contents of each basket. The saying is in Lane-upper font while the contents are written in Moonflower bold. Once I got the look I was going for I printed them onto card stock and cut them out.

DIY pantry lables Here’s how the labels look all put together. Aren’t they cute? P.S. all the baskets were orphans I had laying around the house after our move.

pantry lablesFor the produce baskets, I made circle labels in the same moonflower font that I attached to the baskets using old clothespins that had been painted mint on the front.

clothespin pantry lablesOne thing I really love about the clothes pins and clipboards is that it is super easy to change out the labels as our needs change.

budget pantry makeover with basketsAnd Voila! It’s done. I spent some time moving things around to get the right feel/look, but I absolutely love it!

broom holder pantryIf you are wondering where I spent the $11 it was mostly on this new broom and mop organizer which I bought at Target for $8.98 (here’s a similar one from my affiliate) I can’t tell you how nice it is to open the pantry and not have to fear getting hit in the head by a falling broom.


As I mentioned before all the baskets were cast-offs from our last house that had yet to find a place in the new house. The paint was also all leftover from other projects.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love that everything now has it’s own place, and that like items are now grouped together in the baskets.pantry makeoverI’d still like to create labels for the glass jars holding my tea. Maybe something like this.

before and after pantry makeoverOverall, I’d say not bad for $11! Actually I’m so in love with my work that I keep opening the pantry and staring at it, Even more surprising is that 2 weeks after taking these pictures, it’s still just as organized.

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