Author Archives: Erin

Master Bedroom Remodel

Susan and I have this dream of buying a fixer-upper and rehabbing it one day.  I think this master bedroom remodel project was a good way to get our feet wet before for a much larger, whole-house project.  Before the remodel, our bedroom was tiered.  As you can see in the pictures below, we had the main tier where the bed was, and then a lower tier where we had my dresser and a dog bed (i.e., Restoration Hardware bean bag -yes, our dogs are spoiled).  It was awkward.  Walking up and down 4 steps just to access my dresser.  Not to mention the wasted space!

So, when we decided to replace the carpet with laminate flooring, we figured it would be the perfect time to raise that lower tier and make the entire room feel more like one room. Continue reading

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Outdoor Sofa

We had some leftover “beams” from our DIY Restoration Hardware Bardenas table, and figured we’d put them to good use by making a matching sofa for the patio.  DIY furniture is the best, because you can customize everything.  For instance, we knew we wanted a sofa on our back patio, but we didn’t have much space.  And most of the outdoor sofas for sale are either very small (more like loveseats) or very large (more like sectionals).  We were able to build this sofa to the exact dimensions we needed.

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DIY Restoration Hardware Bardenas Table

A lot of our project inspiration comes from Restoration Hardware.  Let’s face it, RH’s furniture is jaw-dropping gorgeous, but a wee little bit pricey.  Ok… it’s way pricey.  Take this outdoor dining table, for instance.  Pretty, right?  Yep, we thought so, too.  But at $4,075 (for just the table!) it was a bit out of our budget.  So, being the DIY’ers that we are, we decided to make our own version of the Restoration Hardware Bardenas table.

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Ebb & Flow Through San Diego

This isn’t a travel blog… but, as a blog about our adventures, I feel compelled to write about our San Diego experience.  Have you ever experienced effortless flow on vacation?  Maybe this is more common for others.  For Susan and me, vacations are typically more mentally exhausting than rejuvenating.  We always return from vacations feeling like we need a vacation to recover from vacation.  It sounds weird, but something about the energy required to navigate a new place, to find the best restaurants, bars, attractions… all while avoiding the touristy spots is mentally draining to us.  Plus, there is the self-induced anguish of, “We’re on vacation – we’re supposed to be having LOTS of fun!  Are we having fun?  What aren’t we doing that could be more fun?”  Basically, our vacations never seem to flow.  So, imagine our surprise when our San Diego vacation provided 9 days of pure, effortless fun and enjoyment. Continue reading

Wallpaper is cool again… No, really!

For Valentine’s Day this year, we spent some quality time in the bedroom.  No, no… this isn’t that type of blog.  We spent the afternoon wallpapering.  😉

Wallpaper is coming back into style in a big way!  No joke.  There are some really awesome prints and patterns available – everything from forest scenes to metallics to the 3D brick pattern that we used.  We were a little apprehensive to dive into this project due to our preconceived notion that wallpapering was HARD!  But, we dove in anyway, and I’m happy to report that this project was easy-peasy.  Seriously, the most difficult part of this project was moving our bed frame (which must weigh around 800 pounds, and does not slide on carpet).  That was a workout! Continue reading

Distressed Wood STARS

Winter storm Jonas hit, and left us house-bound for the better part of 2 days.  These stars were the result.  They’re built just like our Wood Stars, but with a different (read: way better!) finish.  IMHO.

There are many techniques for creating a faux distressed look with paint.  Usually, if I want to achieve the distressed look, I’ll use a dry brushing technique.  But that technique can result in a streaky, mottled appearance, so I’ve been wanting to experiment with something different.  I read about the Vaseline distressing technique and thought it sounded promising, so we tried that on these stars.

The Vaseline technique is simple…

  1. Apply a base coat of paint or stain, and allow to fully dry.  We used Weathered Teak stain by Sherwin Williams.
  2. Dab on small amounts of Vaseline where you want the “distressing” to appear  (football fans: this is different than “Dab on ’em”)  😉
    1. Don’t glob on the Vaseline, just put on a very light coat
    2. The areas that have Vaseline applied will show through once your 2nd coat is applied, so consider what areas should look distressed based on “normal wear”
      1. Typically, these areas are the corners and edges
  3. Apply a 2nd coat using paint in a contrasting color (this coat must be paint), and allow to fully dry.  We used Muslin by Sherwin Williams.
  4. Using 120 grit sandpaper, lightly sand all areas.  The areas that had Vaseline applied will very easily sand off to reveal the base coat underneath.

Pretty easy, right??

I’m definitely a big fan of this distressing technique.  It’s easy and it results in a very natural-looking distressed finish.  We couldn’t be happier with our constellation of stars!