Adding Floating Shelves

Posted by John on December 11th, 2012

Finishing a new home seems to be a continuous series of baby steps.  There have been major “ah-ha” moments, like when we finished the shed or the dining room wainscoting, but for the most part, our DIY projects have been minor in scope and fairly frequent.  Our to-do list never seems to end.  One of my pet peeves after having lived in our current home for a couple years now is the lack of general decor.  We keep it simple.  There are still a handful of rooms in the house that literally haven’t been “improved” upon since we moved in, including our master bedroom and bath (more on those very soon).  Nothing on the walls, no paint yet, zip, nada.  Since Lisa is in charge of what goes on the walls (she picks it, I hang it), I’ve been bugging her to come up with some more decor and interest for our spaces.  This week she bought a couple floating shelves from Target.  Big fan.

Even bigger fan of the hardware that came with it.  I have a love/hate relationship with molly bolts… no, it’s mostly hate.  I hate them.  Molly bolts that come with most commercial items are almost always a crappy plastic piece that  a.) spin in the drywall and never fasten down  b.) refuse to accept the screws that came with them  c.) pull right out of the drywall even after you’ve gotten them “right.”  /end rant.

These shelves came with my favorite type of drywall fastener, the white oversized screw type (see below).  You just push on them until they pierce the wall and then you just screw them down tight.

drywall anchor

I’m also a big fan of how the shelves attach to the wall.  They have a two piece metal bracket.  I also fully endorse Ikea’s floating shelf brackets, same basic concept.

floating shelf bracket

Once the bracket is mounted, the shelf just clips onto it.

floating shelf side view

They’ve got a sweet coved edge on three sides.  We’re showing the photo above to give you an idea of how far they stick out from the wall.  Not too bad.

floating shelves

With both shelves mounted, you can see how they add some needed Christmas cheer to our wall.  We actually had to think about how far “in” the top shelf needed to be.  Too close to the wall edge and a tall person could accidentally walk right into it.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye walking into a Target floating shelf.  How many times have we heard that childhood tale?

jack frost doll

silver christmas reindeer

That’s our tinsel reindeer.  You’re going to be seeing a lot of him.  We throw him into nearly all of our Christmas photos.  He’s got a 3 year, 12 post contract.  He’s pretty much the Charleston Heston of tinsel reindeer.  He’s kind of a big deal around here.

How are you adding interest to your spaces?

Posted in DIY Projects,Holiday,Home Decor. Tagged in ,, , , ,

Our First Poll and Mums!

Posted by John on November 4th, 2011

So, yesterday on Twitter I promised our readers our first poll.  We’d like to add more interactivity and it’s a great way to get feedback on some of our projects and ideas.  Specifically, I said we’d be voting on a new catchphrase, with our current one being “building our home one project at a time.”  Ehhh.  Very appropriate phrase, but we’ve since seen it on a few blogs already and we wanted to come up with something more custom tailored for us.  But last night, when we sat down to review some of the options we I came up with, we realized they weren’t ready for prime time.  So, that particular poll will have to wait.

We do have a poll for you today though.  We need help picking our paint for our downstairs.  I’m not promising we’ll pick the paint that’s the most popular in our poll, but it will definitely help.  Leave a comment too if you have any constructive criticism.  Picking colors is hard!!!

To jog your memory, here are the paints…

From left to right, they are Accessible Beige, Practical Beige and Latte.

And here is our poll…

[poll id=”2″]

Oh, and here are some mums Lisa picked up and that crazy looking pumpkin!

Thanks for voting! 

Posted in Fall,Home Decor,Polls,Staining and Painting. Tagged in ,, ,

Which Paint to Choose?

Posted by Lisa on November 2nd, 2011

Thanks to Mother Nature bestowing snow and rain on us this weekend, our garage painting had to be postponed! But don’t worry – we (mostly John) fought the urge to stay in and watch Halloween movies and instead went over to the paint store (plus he fixed our doorbell.)

Before we headed out, we looked through this blog. It’s really neat – endless photos of rooms and the paint colors listed. We picked out a few we liked and out the door we went.

After some executive decision making done primarily by myself, we left with three paint samples. They are as follows:

Accessible Beige, Practical Beige, and Latte. All are from Sherwin Williams. Why? Because there is a store near our house AND there’s sales going on there. Plus, we like their color selections and paint quality.

We purchased quart-size samples. Sure, we could have saved a few bucks and just did swatches, but we thought it would be worth the investment of about 6 bucks each to be able to throw the paint up and test it out. We are planning on painting the majority of the downstairs this color and we don’t want to have to repaint.


I put the samples up in three places in our house – the morning room, family room, and living room.



We have three differed types of floors in each of these rooms so it’s really important to us that the color looks good with the Berber, hardwood, and living room carpet.

Right now my vote is for Accessible Beige. I do want to pull up all the (paper) shades and see how the color looks in full sunlight.

We would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions for paint.  Have a paint that is your go-to and want to share?

Posted in Home Decor,Staining and Painting. Tagged in ,,

More Fall Decor

Posted by Lisa on October 5th, 2011

You know the Fall decorating doesn’t stop at just our house! I helped my mom decorate my parents’ house – and it turned out great if I say so myself.

Not too long ago I helped them with a plate wall above their server in the kitchen. Here’s the before.

Cute Scottie picture, right?

And the after.


And with Fall decorating.




They also recently painted their wood mantel to match their woodwork. I love the way it turned out! I really couldn’t believe the dramatic change a little paint cant do.

Here is what the mantel looked like before – prepped to be paint including frog tape


Paint is complete and waiting to finish drying …


Recognize the Scottie picture??


Here it is all jazzed up with pumpkins and decorating


I love the brass and pewter candlesticks my mom has!




I also added acorn vase fillers and placed a LED candle on top to one of their end tables.


It was a great day to hang with my mom and spend time with her. Both of us love decorating and it was great to do this together!

Posted in Fall,Home Decor. Tagged in ,,

DIY Pumpkin Banner

Posted by Lisa on September 29th, 2011

The Fall love continues! I bought these pumpkin cut outs at the dollar store way back in August when the Fall decor was just being rolled out.


I didn’t have any clue what I was going to do with them, but I figured I would think of something. I was going through my Fall decor tote to see what items I didn’t put out yet when I came across my baggie full of fall colored ribbons and vase fillers.  I figured I would make a fall banner with the pumpkin cut outs and ribbon.

The cut outs came in four colors.  I am not crazy about the green pumpkin so I tried out my banner idea with the green ones before I used the others.

Here’s the ribbon I used. I bought a couple spools of this one last year to tie ribbons around candlesticks and candles.


I used a hole punch to punch out two holes to run the ribbon through.


I tried threading the ribbon two ways.
First through the back.


And then through the front (my favorite).


Here’s the pattern I decided on too.


I used a total of nine pumpkins (three of each color).  I put three pumpkins together then made the hole punches. I took one pumpkin with holes and used it as a guide when punching the remaining holes so all the pumpkins would look even.

I wove the ribbon through the pumpkins.


Then the banner was all ready to be hung up!

Here it is!





Well, there you have it, a pretty simple pumpkin banner and I think it looks great!

Posted in Crafts,Fall,Home Decor. Tagged in ,,

Time for Fall!

Posted by Lisa on September 6th, 2011

Today I began decorating the house for Fall/Halloween.  I was going to wait a few more days, but I woke up and went downstairs to find this:

The pupster’s unstuffed pumpkin head from last year. Yes, even the dog knows Fall is just around the corner. I took this as a hint and started pulling out the decorations.

When I say I love pumpkins, I L O V E pumpkins. I have since I was little. My favorites are the tiny Jack-be-littles that you can buy at a farm, nursery, or supermarket. I always try and find the smallest ones. I haven’t seen any yet… but when I do I will snatch up at least a half dozen or so for the house.

Here is most of my pumpkins on the counter. See – I wasn’t kidding! Last year I had so many pumpkins around the house John told me I couldn’t bring a pumpkin in unless one went out. Ha! I just learned to sneak them in when he wasn’t home.

My first spot was to replace the (fake) fruit that’s on the island. Here is the before

And the after

I left only the oranges and orangy-looking apples. I also change to the fall-ish ribbon.

Next, the white pitcher on the kitchen table. Take a look at the before here

…and the after

Next, on to the Family Room

I added an orange wreath with matching ribbon to the mirror that’s above our sofa. (pay no attention to the woman behind the camera)

And the mantle (my favorite!!). You saw the before here and now…..

Seriously, this is just the beginning for me. I cannot wait to get some real pumpkins, then the fun really begins!

What are your thoughts – too many pumpkins? When do you start decorating??

Posted in Fall,Home Decor. Tagged in ,, ,

So Long, Old Glory

Posted by Lisa on September 2nd, 2011

September 1st is a big deal in our house.  Although the official start of Fall is still weeks away, September is the (un) official month when all things fall make their appearance in my house!

So, in honor of Labor Day and the end of Summer I will share my “summer”-themed decorating items.

Here is my homemade star flag banner:


I found the stars at the craft store and I threaded the white ribbon through the holes and made a knot to keep them in place. This banner has been up since before memorial day.


Let’s not forget the cute star picture holder.


And here is the big picture


These decorations have lasted all Summer but it’s definitely time for Fall!!

What other decorations that are summer/American themed do you have for your house?

Posted in Home Decor. Tagged in ,

Our Morning Room

Posted by Lisa on September 1st, 2011

As I made my daily cup of Tassimo latte this morning (well, not really daily anymore, more like a once a week treat now; super splurge, I know!), I looked over to our morning room just off the kitchen and I noticed the sun was extraordinarily bright and the light was coming through all the paper shades getting my creative juices flowing, so I decided to snap some pictures of our morning room and share.  Just that fact that the sun was shining at all was a major improvement over the previous week – let’s see, an earthquake, hurricane, oh and tornado (we all weathered just fine, thank goodness!).

The morning room was an “option” when we were building our home and we knew it was a must-have.  Although, without it, we could be eating at a round pedestal dining table (love!) with a slightly larger backyard.  However, the long rectangular shape is more practical (which is the mode my brain usually excels in HA!).  We also opted for the two additional windows on the right side, making the morning room completely lit on all three walls.

The floor in here is the same cherry stained oak as the kitchen, entry way, dinning room, and powder room.  We purchased the table from Raymour and Flanigan before the move along with the furniture for the family room.  They delivered all the furniture on the same day as the movers, Lowe’s appliance delivery, and the cable company (doing any projects without the cable TV on is a big no-no in this household).  The table is espresso color with four chairs and a bench.  I love tables with benches.. I think it’s because growing up my parents had a table with a bench (and still do).

Of course, the paper shades are temporary until we can decide on window treatments.  They certainly get the job done! I really like the look of white plantation shutters for this room and for the family room, but I am still mulling it over.  I want something neutral that can be shut completely but that also can be opened to allow a ton of light in.  Another project for this room (and all downstairs rooms) will be to put UV protective film up.  I’d like to protect the hardwood floors from color changes as best as possible.  UV films would def make a great weekend DIY project!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the ceiling fan light we added.  The room gets pretty warm during the summer between the sunlight and the proximity to the kitchen, so having a fan is a must.  We purchased an espresso paddle colored fan from Lowes with pewter finish metal.  We (John) also added a 32″ extension rod in pewter as well because the ceiling is vaulted.

Our dog, a miniature schnauzer named Mr Finegan, prefers to hide under the morning room table as his first choice whenever he’s snagged a neglected pusher (or as John calls it a “channel changer”??).  In order to retrieve said remote, Mr Finegan demands to be playfully chased for it or handsomely rewarded with treats in order to free his electronic hostage.  John goes immediately to the treats, but I prefer to run him down!  We love him, but he’s def in it for the snacks.


The Decor:

Here’s a great white pitcher filled with hydrangeas that’s always on the table… and my favorite quilted place mats (they’re Waverly).  It ain’t much, but it’s a start!

We’ll be running over to the paint store to check out potential paint colors for this room.  I am thinking .. ready … NEUTRAL!  Ha!  I would like a super creamy khaki color (like in the Pottery Barn catalogs).  The color has to coordinate well with the dark hardwood floor and our carpets.  I would also like to paint the entire first floor the same color (with the exception of the dining room).

Any design thoughts for this room? We’d love to hear your suggestions.

What about your home?  Do you have any rooms in the house that brighten your day and inspire you?  Do you have a dog that loves to be mischievous?  Do you have to negotiate with treats or is that just us?


Posted in Home Decor,House Tour. Tagged in ,,

Plate Wall (part deux)

Posted by Lisa on August 2nd, 2011

At my weekly trip to Home Goods this week, I found another one of the plates I love! I think I like these plates so much because they look French – even though they aren’t! Not even sure who makes these plates, but they are awesome.

I found this large dinner plate and thought it would look great just above my range. We havn’t done a backsplash yet, so all that is between the countertops and the cabinets are white walls.

Same procedure as before:

1. Measure the plate to determine hanger size

2. Measure wall where plate will hang to determine placement and mark

3. Hammer nail with hanger

4. Plate plate on wall

Here is a before picture of the wall between the microwave and range

And the completed project!

.. and a close up:

This is our second plate wall.





Posted in Home Decor. Tagged in ,,

New Countertop Height Benches

Posted by Lisa on July 18th, 2011

The other day I picked up two awesome countertop height benches at Christmas Tree Shops.  Did you know they are owned by Bed Bath and Beyond? Once I figured this out I did a google search looking for CTS coupons.  Now whenever I know I am going to be shopping there I always search for a coupon.  Anyways, I know they carry a lot of home decor items, including benches.  I picked up these two-toned countertop height (24″) benches for my island.

Before I purchased these benches, I had the full size benches from our previous home at the island.  If you were skinny you could squeeze your legs under the countertop, but it wasn’t comfortable.  I was always on the lookout for replacement benches.

Soo I found these and they are just what I was looking for!  PLUS, I got them with a coupon – even better.  Now I am contemplating whether or not I should buy the matching full size benches to put in my morning room where I have my old unpainted furniture benches I stained at our old house.  Decisions, decisions.

Posted in Home Decor. Tagged in ,, ,

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