Monday, October 31, 2011

Wainscoting Reveal!

Hooray! The wainscoting project is done! It's been a long process for sure, but I think the finished product looks great.  

As a reminder, here's what the room looked like to start with. It's hard to tell from this picture, but that wall color was a greenish-yellow, both above and below the chair rail.

And now:

We started this project by painting the wall above the chair rail Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams.  Then, we painted white below the chair rail.  We purchased moulding from Home Depot and made picture frame panels for the walls. We made 12 18x23" boxes, 2 6x28" boxes, and 1 7x23" box.  We mitered the corners to form the frame with a saw and miter box. We used Liquid Nails to form the frames and adhere them to the wall.  The boxes are space about 6" apart on the wall, with 3.5 inches above and below.  Then, we caulked all of the seams with the wall and corners of the frames.  One final coat of paint on everything... and voila, finished wainscoting!!! 

We're really happy with the outcome. This is a classic example of a DIY project. You can save so much money by taking on a project like this in your home. By spending the time and labor to create the panels and put them all up, you will add value to your home and create a custom look.

 The DIY Show Off

Happy Halloween!!

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. We were really busy and it went by so fast.

I'm going to share the wainscoting reveal later today, I can't wait for you to see the pictures. It's really a huge improvement for the room.  Also, I made and finished the curtains (!!!) yesterday. It was a TON of work, literally 8+ hours straight of work, but I'm so happy with the results. I now know why people charge so much for the labor to make curtains and drapes.

On Saturday, we went to a Halloween party at our next door neighbors' house. It was really fun and we really enjoyed hanging out with everyone.  Kevin chose last minute to go as Dwight from The Office and I went as Kate Middleton.  

Tonight is Halloween and we're so excited to get some Trick-or-Treat-ers! Last year we had none, :( but that's what happens when you live in an apartment.  Darcy even has a costume to wear to great everyone at the door with. He's going to be a hot dog!  I'll post a picture of him in his costume later.  

Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekend Plans

This week was a busy one and it's gone by pretty fast! We have a fun weekend ahead and I'm really hoping to make a lot of progress on some of the projects we're working on. We also have a Halloween party to go to on Saturday at our neighbor's house. So, we'll need to come up with costumes for that as well pretty quickly.

I'm really hoping to finish caulking the wainscoting panels in the dining room. It's a really easy project, but it takes time and patience, going around each side of each piece of moulding.  Maybe we'll even get to painting everything, we'll see about that.  I also want to touch up the paint and finish the wine lattice in the kitchen cabinets.

The fabric for our dining room curtains arrived yesterday. Thanks to super fast, FREE shipping from LS Fabrics! I was really excited that it got to us so quickly and of course, I had to take some pictures of the fabric and how it  looks in the room. So, I pinned some of the fabric up by the window in the dining room. I'm so excited about how it looks, I know it will look really great when it's actually made into curtains. I particularly like how the lattice/scroll pattern looks when it's gathered or pleated.

Loop de Loop by Duralee in Smoke

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Curtain Fabric

I finally ordered the fabric for our dining room curtains yesterday!! I ordered it from Lewis & Sheron Fabrics in Atlanta and got free shipping.  I can't wait for it to get here! I'm hoping to make these curtains myself with my mom's help. 
Hopefully the fabric arrives soon, so we can get started!  Here are two pictures of curtains made with the same fabric.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wainscoting Update!

This weekend, we took on the wainscoting project in the dining room. I'm really excited about our progress, because just after starting I was worried that it was going to be too much work and not come out like we hoped.  We bought all of the moulding for this project at Home Depot. The 8 ft. pieces were relatively cheap and we needed 15. So, compared to getting a contractor to build custom wainscoting or buying the pre-made panels, this ended up being the cheapest option. However, it was definitely a lot of work... and we're not done yet!

I first sketched out the plan for the room and calculated how much of the moulding we would need. I figured out all of the spacing for the boxes on the walls.  We then, got to cutting the 45 degree angles in the moulding. Basically, it's like making picture frames. It took 8 cuts per piece of moulding. We used a miter box and hand saw to make the cuts. Again, an inexpensive option that just requires a little more labor.  Most of the boxes were 23" x 18" but we made skinnier rectangle to go under the windows and on the short walls in the room.

After cutting the angles and checking all of the measurements, we made the squares. I used Liquid Nails on the cuts and pressed them together to form the frames. This takes a lot of patience, the Liquid Nails can be a pain to work with because you don't want to get it on your hands.  You have to make sure all of the joints fit together just right and that you are keeping the frame square.  The Liquid Nails that we got had a working time of 30 minutes, so that meant it took about 30 minutes to harden, but that we could also make adjustments for a while after putting them together. I laid them out on newspaper on the floor and outside on the deck.  I tried to let them all dry for a couple hours before moving them. I did move one too early and it was super fragile and came apart at the corners so I had to reglue it again.

After allowing them time to dry, we got ambitious and decided to get them up on the wall Sunday night.  I used pencil to mark the walls for where the panels should go. It was really helpful to have this done beforehand, because you didn't really have to worry if things were square or level when you put the panels on, because you had it all laid out beforehand.

We used Liquid Nails to secure the frames to the wall.  Because the moulding that we selected is a polymer blend, it's actually really light and won't require nails to secure it to the wall. If you're using hardwoods, I would definitely recommend finishing nails to secure the wood.  I ran a bead of liquid nails around the back of the panels, then we placed them on the wall, holding it in place for a couple of minutes. We added tape to keep the moulding in place, but it probably wasn't even necessary. This was mostly for my sanity. I was afraid that they would fall down or something terrible would happen in the middle of the night, but nope they're secure! Here are some pictures of where we're at now.

I still need to caulk all of the panels and paint everything again.  I'll update with more pictures when we've got that done. It's pretty exciting that we were able to get this much done this weekend. What a change a little bit of DIY and hard work can make!



Friday, October 21, 2011

Pretzel Turtles

If you've been on Pinterest lately, you've probably seen these snacks. And, if you haven't made them yet, you're crazy. These things are so amazing! They're pretzels, chocolate, caramel and pecans all in one bite, delish!!

Pretzel Turtles
20 Pretzel Snaps
20 Rolos
20 Pecans

Preheat oven to 325 F. Place pecans on a baking sheet and put in the oven to toast a couple minutes, until they're fragrant. On another baking sheet, lay out all of your pretzels. Then, place an unwrapped rolo on each pretzel.  

Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 4-5 minutes, until the rolos are soft. Then take them out of the oven and place a pecan on top of each rolo and pretzel. They should squish down and some of the caramel may even ooze out, lol. 

Let cool and enjoy! They're so easy and so addicting! 

Modified from The Hungry Housewife

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pizza Bread

I saw this recipe on a blog the other day and variations of it are all over Pinterest. This pizza roll is so easy and so delish. I made this for our tailgate on Saturday and it went over really well. I sliced it up and served it with marinara sauce. It seems like it would be more complicated but that's the beauty of it. Check it out:

Pizza Bread
1 can store-bought Pillsbury French bread (or homemade pizza dough)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Sliced pepperoni
Olive Oil
Marinara sauce for dipping

Preheat the oven to 350. First, I rolled out the bread on a baking sheet.  Then, add your cheese, enough to cover the entire surface generously. Place your pepperonis all over the bread. 

Carefully roll up the flat pizza jelly-roll style, until you have a roll. Then spritz or drizzle the top of the roll with olive oil. I also sprinkled some garlic powder on top, just because we love it. Poke a few holes in the bread to allow air to escape between the layers and prevent air pockets.

I decided to cut my roll in half and make two small rolls because I knew I wouldn't have a good way of transporting the entire roll to the football game.  You can definitely leave it as one long roll.  Place the roll(s) on parchment paper or a Silpat.  

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Slice the rolls and serve immediately with warm marinara sauce.  This is what your bread should look like... yum! 
Pinned Image
Photo by Sing for Your Supper
Modified from Sing for Your Supper, originally from Brown Eyed Baker

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dining Room Progress

I've been making a bit more progress in our dining room. I painted white below the chair rail this weekend. It looks much better, I'm glad to get rid of the previous greenish color.

I've been debating over what to do for wainscoting and as of now I've decided that I'll make the picture frame wall panels myself. I found some moulding that I like at the Home Depot and found out that it will actually be much cheaper for me to cut and piece it together than buying the pre-made panels. I would have (/was planning to have, lol) bought the pre-made panels just because they are so easy, but I literally couldn't find them anywhere... they're sold out completely at Lowes.

I used newspaper to first visualize the number of panels that I'll probably need. Then, I also made two practice panels to see how they look.  It's actually really, really easy to make these panels and you don't need a fancy saw, a regular handheld saw and a miter box will do.  So, with the two panels temporarily taped on the wall, I took some pictures.

I haven't decided what to do about the chair rail moulding yet... keep or replace? I'm not too fond of the moulding that the last owners chose, but I think I can live with it for a while. Taking down that moulding and putting up new chair rail is a little more involved of a project. I really don't want to accidentally damage the wall right before the holidays.

Also, I haven't decided if I'm going to keep wall painted white below the chair rail for the look of wainscoting or paint the wall gray. Here's what I mean:

More on that later.

I've also decided that I will probably try to make the curtains for this room on my own. I've been reading a lot of sewing and DIY blogs and instructions to make them and I think I can do it.  More on these later too, although I have decided that I will use this gray and white Duralee loop fabric:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Parade of Homes

We went to the last day of the Parade of Homes this weekend! The Parade of Homes is an open house tour of tons of new houses in the Raleigh area each October. Click Here to see the entries. They had a really cool iPhone app that we used to find houses near where you are. We saw 5 amazing houses and they were all really big and gorgeous! The Parade of Homes houses range in price from practical $150k starter homes to extravagant $2.5M estates.  We went to those on the upper end because they're usually pretty unique and the most fun to tour!  This post is really, really picture heavy. Prepare for some amazing inspiration!

The first house we toured was lovely. I didn't take any pictures inside, but here's the outside, I loved the architecture in this neighborhood.
The Asheville - $949,000 - 4,476 sqft

Next, we went to a smaller house in the same area. I forgot to take a picture of the front, but it was cute. I think the best part was the basement, it was really neat.
Game table and tv lounge in the basement
Awesome bar and mini-kitchen in the basement
Guest Bedroom 
Guest Bedroom again 
Dining Room back upstairs

Then, we went to the best one of them all, the $2.5 million house in Cary. This house was gorgeous, I think I would be able to live there ;) This house features an amazing interior, but also a pool, elevator, and personal dance studio, craziness. 
Intrada Grande - $2,480,000 - 6,236 sqft
Gorgeous dining room to the left of the foyer
Built-ins and pass through from the dining room
Beautiful carpet inlay in the floor instead of a rug
Love these curtains, gold and silver are so
pretty together
Pass-through window from the kitchen to
the outdoor kitchen and living area
Backyard looks out over one of the greens on the golf course
Yes, there's an elevator, lol!
Cute nook and seating bench. Love the grass-
cloth wallpaper
Interesting powder bath, bold blue stripes
Amazing bench seat in the master bedroom, love the carpet too!
My favorite room of the house, the master bedroom. So pretty.
Love the art above the dresser and the color scheme
Amazing master bathroom... gorgeous details
Loved the vanity and lighting too
Double shower in the master bath
Loved this dresser and the little porch off the stairs
Loved this chair and pouf combo in one
of the offices upstairs
[More pictures of the upstairs to come]

Here's the last house that I took pictures at:
Amy's Nest - $748,000 - 4456 sqft
Pretty kitchen, although Kevin thought the lime green was crazy ;)
Loved the custom paneled fridge and freezer
Cool outdoor entertaining area
Loved this idea of using hooks with letters of your last name for coats etc
Master Bath
The most amazing closet
Complete with a hidden passage...
... so cool! 
Entertainment room
That's it, we had a lot of fun. Hope you enjoyed the tours and found some inspiration for yourself, I know I did!

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